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Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now 

Gerald M. Fagin, SJ. 

31/3 • MAY 1999 


The Seminar is composed of a number of Jesuits appointed from their provinces 
in the United States. 

It concerns itself with topics pertaining to the spiritual doctrine and 
practice of Jesuits, especially United States Jesuits, and communicates the results 
to the members of the provinces through its publication, STUDIES IN THE SPIRI- 
TUALITY OF JESUITS. This is done in the spirit of Vatican IPs recommendation 
that religious institutes recapture the original inspiration of their founders and 
adapt it to the circumstances of modern times. The Seminar welcomes reactions 
or comments in regard to the material that it publishes. 

The Seminar focuses its direct attention on the life and work of the 
Jesuits of the United States. The issues treated may be common also to Jesuits 
of other regions, to other priests, religious, and laity, to both men and women. 
Hence, the journal, while meant especially for American Jesuits, is not exclu- 
sively for them. Others who may find it helpful are cordially welcome to make 
use of it. 


Richard A. Blake, S.J., teaches film studies at Boston College (1998). 

Philip J. Chmielewski, S.J., teaches religious social ethics at Loyola University, 
Chicago (1998). 

Richard J. Clifford, S.J., teaches Old Testament at Weston Jesuit School of 
Theology, Cambridge, Mass. (1997). 

Gerald M. Fagin, S.J., teaches theology in the Institute for Ministry at Loyola 
University, New Orleans, La. (1997). 

Richard J. Hauser, S.J., teaches theology at Creighton University in Omaha and 
directs its graduate programs in theology, ministry, and spirituality (1998). 

John P. Langan, S.J., as holder of the Kennedy Chair of Christian Ethics, teach- 
es philosophy at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (1996). 

Thomas M. Lucas, S.J., chairs the Department of Fine and Performing Arts and 
teaches therein at the University of San Francisco (1998). 

Edward T Oakes, S.J., teaches theology at Regis University, Denver, Col. 

John W. Padberg, S.J., is chairman of the Seminar, editor of STUDIES, and direc- 
tor and editor at the Institute of Jesuit Sources (1986). 

Timothy E. Toohig, S.J., a high-energy physicist, does research and administra- 
tion in Washington and lives at Georgetown University (1997). 

James S. Torrens, S.J., is an associate editor of America, New York (1996). 

The opinions expressed in STUDIES are those of the individual authors thereof. Parenthe- 
ses designate year of entry as a Seminar member. 

Copyright © 1999 and published by the Seminar on Jesuit Spirituality 
3700 West Pine Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108 
(Tel. 314-977-7257; Fax 314-977-7263) 

Fidelity in the Church— Then 

and Now 

Gerald M. Fagin, S.J. 


31/3 • MAY 1999 


Jean Pierre Caussade,SJ. 
A Treatise on Prayer from 
the Heart 

Tr. Robert M. McKeon 

This book responds to the human 
desire for prayer by showing a simple 
and direct path to it. True prayer has to 
spring from the human center, the 
human heart. A heart-charged prayer 
comes from one's deepest self, from 
the heart where God speaks to us and 
where we know God. Through what 
the author calls attentive pauses, one 
can enter into inner silence and learn 
how to follow God single-mindedly. 

While the traditions and circum- 
stances of the book's origins (the 
French mystical traditions, the politics 
of the French court, the quarrels of 
the Jansenists and the Quietists, etc.) 
are important, and are indeed a part of 
the book itself, nonetheless the book 
is for our own age too. As a work on 
the interior life, in simple question- 
and-answer format, it can help in 
guiding today's readers, even very 
active ones, step-by-step into deep 
and simple prayer. 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-31-X • $17.95 
Series I, no. 17 • pp. vi + 249 

Laurence L. Gooley, S.J. 
To Walk with Christ: Praying 
with the Spiritual Exercises of 
Saint Ignatius 

The Spiritual Exercises are sometimes 
seen as a process of reformation, or as 
a school of prayer, or as a means and 
process of decision making. While 
acknowledging that all of these are, in 
some ways, true enough, in this book 
Fr. Gooley presents the Spiritual 
Exercises as a process of praying the 
Gospels, so that one becomes identi- 
fied with Jesus Christ in loving and 
serving God in all things. Personal 
renewal, becoming deepened in 
prayer, and Spirit-filled decision mak- 
ing are the gifts, the fruit of this prac- 
tice; and the ultimate experience is 
always the direct encounter with God 
in Jesus Christ. 

The book presents 35 exercises 
designed to assist in this process, 
whether spread throughout a lengthy 
period of time or compressed into a 
formal retreat. 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-33-6 • $15.95 
Series iy no. 21 • pp. xix + 146 

tel 314-977-7257 fax 314-977-7263 e-mail IJS@SLU.EDU 

Of all things . . . 

Do you know which states in this country can boast the greatest number of 
Jesuits? And the ones that must content themselves with the least? Given that "our 
vocation is the travel to various lands" and given that every year one fifth of the 
American population moves, here are the numbers as quoted from the 1990 U.S. 
census and the most recent residency statistics of U.S. Jesuits. The ten states with the 
greatest density of Jesuits (in the numerical sense only, of course) are (1) California 
with 478, (2) New York with 441, (3) Massachusetts with 361, (4) Missouri with 201, 
(5) Washington with 179, (6) Illinois with 168, (7) Pennsylvania with 130, (8) Michi- 
gan with 127, (9) Ohio with 121, and (10) District of Columbia with 112. Though 
the last is not a state, it just beats out Wisconsin's 111. The states with the lowest 
population of Jesuits are Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, New Hampshire, and South 
Carolina (with two Jesuits each), Delaware, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennessee, and 
Vermont (with one each), and, with nary a Jesuit within their borders, Michigan and 
Rhode Island. Do you know (or do you even want to know?) the place with the 
highest per capita number of Jesuits? Make a guess and then look at the end of these 
remarks for the answer. 

To turn from the numerical present to the historical past, I spent two 
weeks recently in the Jesuit archives in Rome doing research for a chapter of a book 
on the generalate of Fr. Everard Mercurian, the fourth general (1573-80) of the 
Society of Jesus. My work centered on the general congregation, the third in our 
history, that elected him. Some of the material I found was central to the subject, 
some peripheral, some edifying, some sobering, some amusing. But for those who 
long for the good old early days of the Society, when our Jesuit schools were models 
of piety and when fervor reigned among Ours, three examples of postulata that came 
to that general congregation will at least give them pause. As to the schools, the 
Province of Lombardy, for instance, asked that a new responsibility be conferred 
upon the provincial in addition to those that were currently his. Henceforth, he 
should also oversee the music used in our colleges, and if he judged it unseemly — if 
not only the words but the music itself was scandalous— he was to order it removed 
from the school. As for the Jesuits themselves, remember that Ignatius had died only 
seventeen years before this general congregation, but the Province of Aragon was 
asking "that there be prisons in the Society into which delinquent Jesuits be thrown 
and in which in accord with the nature of their crimes they can, as opportune, at 
some length be made to suffer." On the other hand, the Province of Naples requested 
that, while in some provinces severity existed and in others leniency, "the way of 
acting among Ours be uniformly kind and gentle in spirit so that prisons and shack- 
les and othe/ things like that would be far removed from the Society, granted that 
when there is need for it, Jesuits can for a time be confined to their rooms just as if 
they were in jail." O temporal O mores! 


But the times and customs of the past also can and often do produce ex- 
traordinary men and works. Two recent books illustrate that point. The first is Jose 
de Acosta (1540-1600): His Life and Thought (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1999) by Claudio 
Burgaleta, S.J., of the New York Province. The introduction to the book begins, 
"Jose de Acosta (1540-1600) was one of the most renowned Spanish Jesuits of his 
time; he was also one of the most despised." The book does full justice to this multi- 
faceted Jesuit. Although almost unknown today to an English-reading public, Acosta 
was a missionary, diplomat, economist, natural scientist, philosopher, jurist, scholar 
of native languages, preacher, Jesuit provincial, confidant of Philip II, and, some 
supposed, an intriguer against Claudio Aquaviva, the Jesuit general. His three great 
"American" books, De procuranda Indorum salute, Historia natural y moral de las 
Indias, and Doctrina Christiana y Catecumo para instruccion de los Indios, had been 
published in Dutch, French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish editions while he 
was still alive. Burgaleta rightly remarks that 

Acosta was no saint and he often showed his shadow side. At times he was 
duplicitous, disobedient, imperious, and given to the comforts of the aris- 
tocracy. . . . [But he] was also a highly talented and even courageous man. 
He may have bordered on genius and at certain points during his tumultu- 
ous life he displayed heroic virtue. He was a prolific author, an elegant 
writer, a creative theologian, a honey-tongued orator, a skilled administra- 
tor, a nimble diplomat, and a zealous laborer for the salvation and evangeli- 
zation of the Amerindians. For better and worse, he was the kind of man 
who gave rise to the legendary Jesuit. 

As John O'Malley, S.J., says, the author introduces us to Acosta "especially by 
sketching the career of this brilliant man who in both Spain and in the New World 
moved in the highest circles of church and state . . . and he takes us into the cultural 
and theological milieu in which Acosta was formed and which he in turn helped 
form through his writings. . . . Acosta's is an exciting story ... to which Fr. Burgale- 
ta provides lucid access." I can only concur with that judgment. 

The other book I wish to mention is a critical edition of the first version of 
The Christian Directory (1582) by that famous— indeed, some would say equally 
notorious and legendary— Elizabethan Jesuit leader and companion of Edmund 
Campion, Robert Persons. Dr. Victor Houliston, professor of English at the Univer- 
sity of Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa, is its author and editor. The 
original title of Person's book, The First Book of the Christian Exercise, Appertayning to 
Resolution, spells out what it is about, an attempt to persuade the reader to be reso- 
lute in the service of God. Ignatius in a letter to Isabel Roser in 1532 described what 
he thought was the basic aim of his embryonic Spiritual Exercises. People who made 
them had "deliberately chosen and . . . utterly resolved to engage themselves on 
behalf of God our Lord's glory, honor and service." Person's book, as Houliston 
says, "can best be described as a full prose realization, the first in Europe, of the first 
week of the Spiritual Exercises." Published anonymously but identifiably Catholic, 
this book met with so much success among Elizabethan Catholics, who needed all 
the resolve they could muster, that Edmund Bunny, a Protestant clergyman, pro- 
duced a Protestant adaptation within two years after Person's work had first ap- 
peared. Bunny's Protestantizing version was reprinted no fewer than sixteen times 


within less than two years, "provoking a squabble between rival printers and giving 
momentum to the newly founded Oxford University Press." Dr. Houliston notes 
that if we include all versions, authorized and unauthorized, of Person's book, it was 
probably the most popular devotional work to appear in English before 1650. This is 
a marvelously well done critical edition of the work. It may not be meant for easy, 
casual reading, but it presents "a key document in the understanding of the impact of 
the Catholic Reformation on England"; and it has as one of its purposes "to contrib- 
ute to the understanding of Persons as a controversial and enigmatic major figure in 
the history of early modern England." 

As you may have guessed, the place with the highest per capita number of 
Jesuits is the District of Columbia, with one Jesuit for about every fifty-four hundred 
residents in the District. What that says about the District of Columbia or about the 
Society of Jesus I leave to the discernment of my readers. Perhaps some of them will 
care to enlighten us with letters about that circumstance. 

John W. Padberg, SJ. 

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Change of Address 


The Seminar on Jesuit Spirituality 
3601 Lindell Boulevard 
St. Louis, MO 63108 

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William A. Barry, S.J. 
"Our Way of Proceeding" 

General Congregation 34 chose to 
keep the Jesuit Constitutions as 
Ignatius wrote them, but to indicate in 
the text those parts that had been 
abrogated, modified, or explained in 
the years since the first general congre- 
gation approved Ignatius 's document. 
And thus the authoritative version of 
the Constitutions that we now have 
includes both the constitutions that 
Ignatius wrote, and also a set of com- 
plementary norms. Fr. Barry has taken 
this authoritative version and from it 
selected sections that form a series of 
prayerful considerations, lasting over a 
period of some seventeen weeks (each 
subdivided into six days) and provid- 
ing rich and abundant matter for 
consideration, discussion, and prayer. 
The goal of this book is to give access 
to such an interior knowledge of the 
characteristic Jesuit manner of acting, 
or "way of proceeding," that one will 
almost instinctively act in this way. 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-30-1 • $12.95 
Series iy n. 19 • pp. vii + 190 

Philip Caraman, S.J. 
Tibet: The Jesuit Century 

Between 1624 and 1721, on five occa- 
sions Jesuit explorers made their diffi- 
cult and perilous way to Tibet. They 
had no expenence of others to guide 
them, and no maps. They encountered 
hardships and dangers that test mod- 
em mountaineers with all their sophis- 
ticated equipment. One of their num- 
ber, Antonio de Andrade, was the first 
European to look down on the plains 
of Tibet; two others, Johannes 
Grueber and Albert d'Orville, search- 
ing for an overland route from China to 
India, were the first Europeans to reach 
Lhasa. Perhaps the most famous of the 
explorers was the Italian Jesuit Ippolito 
Desideri, who for five years lived with 
the Tibetans and studied their religion, 
language, and customs. 

Fr. Caraman's book gives the fasci- 
nating story of these adventurous 
European Jesuit travels across the roof 
of the world to meet in peace and 
friendship a people yet unknown to 
much of that world. 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-29-8 • $14.95 
Series IY no. 20 • pp. viii + 154 

tel 314-977-7257 fax 314-977-7263 e-mail IJS@SLU.EDU 


Introduction 1 

Fidelity Then— Ignatius and the Early Jesuits 2 

Fidelity Now 10 

Elements of a Contemporary Theology of Magisterium 10 

From General Congregation 31 to General Congregation 34 14 

Conclusion 21 

SOURCES: Thinking with the Church Today 24 

"Rules for Thinking with the Church," translated 

by George E. Ganss, S.J. 24 

"Rules for Thinking with the Church," contemporary reading 

by David L. Fleming, S.J. 26 

GC 34, "On Having a Proper Attitude of Service in the Church" 29 

Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now 


Fidelity in the Church has sunk deep roots in the tradition of the 
Society of Jesus. Ignatius's own love of the Church and commitment 
to the papacy laid the foundation for this attitude of heart; the 
Society's history of dedication to service in the Church has fostered this 
charism in the ministry of the Jesuits; the fourth vow taken by its professed 
members to be at the disposal of the pope for mission has given voice to this 
fundamental stance. 

Yet we live in a time of questioning in the Church, a time when 
differing interpretations of Vatican Council II have led to a reexamination of 
the teaching of the council and the teaching or practice of the Church. 
People of goodwill and deep faith disagree on the centrality and meaning of 
certain moral and doctrinal teachings, with the result that discussions are 
polarized and dialogue breaks down. Strong voices in the Church call for a 
restoration of traditional teaching and a renewed commitment to orthodoxy, 
while other strong voices call for development and change in light of 
historical understanding and a need for inculturation. In this context, 
questions arise touching on the meaning of fidelity in our time. This is a 
topic that calls for respectful and frank discussion in the contemporary 
Society of Jesus and the entire Church. 

The title of this essay refers to fidelity in the Church. Fidelity in 
the Church implies being faithful within the Church as one who shares in 
the life of the Spirit and struggles to remain faithful to the movement of the 
Spirit in the whole community. Fidelity to the Church implies being faithful 

Gerald M. Fagin, S.J., is associate professor of theology in the Institute for 
Ministry at Loyola University, New Orleans. A former rector of the Jesuit community 
there and provincial of the New Orleans Province, he was elected to both the procurator's 
congregation in 1987 and the Thirty-fourth General Congregation in 1995. His address is 
Loyola University, 6363 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118-6195. 

2 4* Gerald M. Fagin, S.J. 

to something distinct from oneself. Fidelity to the Church often is under- 
stood as fidelity to the magisterium or to the pope, although, of course, the 
Church is more than either of these realities. Throughout this essay the 
focus will be on fidelity in the Church, though an essential manifestation of 
that fidelity is fidelity to the magisterium and the pope. Fidelity is concerned 
not only with official Church teachings, but also with practices in the 
Church or ways of acting and living, such as liturgical practices, Church law, 
and ways of ministering. 

The essay will examine two documents, separated by four hundred 
and fifty years, that express the Society's commitment to fidelity in and to 
the Church. The first— Ignatius's "Rules for Thinking with the Church"— is 
found in the Spiritual Exercises. The second— "On Having a Proper Attitude 
of Service in the Church"— was approved in 1995 by the Thirty-fourth 
General Congregation of the Society of Jesus. These documents were written 
at different times in the Church and reflect different ecclesiologies and 
different cultural circumstances. Both speak of fidelity, but with differing 
nuances and practical applications. To give a contemporary theological 
context for the second document, I will describe some of the elements of a 
contemporary theology of Church authority in light of Vatican II. At the 
end, I will raise the question of what all this says to us in the Society and 
the Church today. 

Fidelity Then—Ignatius and the Early Jesuits 

To introduce the question, I would like to begin with two stories 
from the life of Ignatius. The first comes from the time shortly 
after his conversion. After his year at Manresa, Ignatius set out for 
the Holy Land, arriving there in September 1523. He tells us in his autobiog- 
raphy that "his firm intention was to remain in Jerusalem, continually 
visiting those holy places; and, in addition to this devotion, he also planned 
to help souls." 1 When he requested permission to stay, however, the Francis- 
can provincial told him that it was not possible; he would have to leave 
with the other pilgrims. Ignatius replied that "he was very firm in his 
purpose and was resolved that on no account would he fail to carry it out," 
convinced as he was that it was God's will for him to stay in Jerusalem (no. 
46). The provincial responded that he had authority from the Apostolic See 

1 Saint Ignatius of Loyola, A Pilgrim's Testimony: The Memoirs of St Ignatius of 
Loyola, trans. Parmananda R. Divarkar, S.J. (St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1995), 
no. 45. 

Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now •!• 3 

to excommunicate anyone not willing to obey him. Ignatius immediately 
responded that he would obey and, in fact, left the next day. The voice of 
authority overruled Ignatius's own discernment. 

The second story comes from much later in Ignatius's life, while he 
was general of the Society of Jesus. In 1546 King Ferdinand, who would 
later succeed Charles V as emperor, wanted to have Claude Jay, one of 
Ignatius's early companions, appointed bishop of Trieste. Ignatius, who was 
strongly opposed to Jesuits' assuming any ecclesiastical dignities, intervened 
with the King and then directly with Pope Paul III to block the appoint- 
ment. The Pope, though kindly disposed toward Ignatius and the Society, 
replied that he had already decided to make the appointment, being con- 
vinced that his decision was surely from the Holy Spirit; by way of consola- 
tion, he urged Ignatius to have recourse to prayer. Ignatius did pray, but he 
also used every human means and every available influence, visiting a 
number of cardinals in Rome and eventually Madama, Margaret of Austria, 
the wife of the Pope's grandson, asking them all to urge the Pope and the 
King to change their minds. In the end, the Pope delayed the matter and the 
King capitulated. Jay never became a bishop. The clear decision of the Pope 
was never implemented. 

These two stones dramatize that Ignatius was a person who loved 
the Church and was obedient to it, while maintaining a shrewd political 
sense. Ignatius would, in the end, obey, but he often went even beyond 
representing his opinion, not hesitating to use every available human means 
to ensure that his opinion prevailed. 

With these stories as an imaginative context, we can consider the 
relationship of Ignatius and the first Jesuits with the hierarchical Church. In 
the first place, there can be no doubt that Ignatius and his first companions 
were deeply committed to the Church and to the pope. Even before Ignatius 
and his first companions in Paris had discerned the call to constitute a 
religious community, they vowed to go to Jerusalem to work among the 
people there or, if that was not possible, to go wherever the pope would 
send them. Their concern, however, was not primarily to manifest devotion 
to the pope, but rather to render a more universal service to the Church. 
The pope could best direct them to where the need in the Church was 

When the Society of Jesus was approved as a religious order in 1540, 
the Formula of the Institute made it clear that service to the Church under 
the Roman Pontiff was an essential element of the Society of Jesus. Toward 
the beginning of this official document defining the nature of the Society, we 

4 + Gerald M. Fagin, S J. 

find the phrase "to serve the Lord alone and his vicar on earth." 2 A few 
paragraphs later, the formula states that "this entire Society and each one 
individually are campaigning for God under faithful obedience to His 
Holiness [the pope] and the other Roman Pontiffs who will succeed him" 
(no. 3). The commitment to go wherever the pope would send them became 
the foundation of the Jesuit's fourth vow. 

The Constitutions of the Society of Jesus that Ignatius drafted in his 
final years also gave evidence that Ignatius's attitude was to be totally at the 
disposal of the pope. In Part VII, on the mission and ministries of the 
Society, the first chapter deals with missions from the Supreme Pontiff. 
Ignatius states there that u to treat the missions from His Holiness first as 
being most important, it should be observed that the vow which the Society 
made to obey him as the supreme vicar of Christ without any excuse meant 
that the members were to go to any place where he judges it expedient to 
send them for the greater glory of God and the good of souls" (no. 603). 
The Church for Ignatius was the visible embodiment of the Lord, and the 
service of Christ was carried on under the direction of Christ's visible 
representative on earth. 3 

We can perhaps hint at one source of Ignatius's passion for faithful 
service in the Church. During his early years, dreams and images of adven- 
ture and romance filled his imagination as he read the great romance novels, 
such as Amadis of Gaul, and entered vicariously into the world of knights 
who did great deeds of courage in service of their king. Some of the values 
that shaped Ignatius's life were rooted in these stories. Feudal values of this 
sort were at the heart of the relationship between lords and vassals- 
friendship, fidelity, courage, generosity, a desire to serve, and a willingness to 
suffer. Ignatius stood on the boundary between the Middle Ages and the 
Renaissance: he was a medieval man able to move into a new world, yet the 
values of the medieval world still shaped his ideals and sensitivities. They 
motivated him after his conversion when he committed himself to following 
Christ in his Church under the Roman Pontiff. Just as a knight was faithful 

2 "Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus," in The Constitutions of the 
Society of Jesus and Their Complementary Norms (St. Louis: The Institute of Jesuit Sources, 
1996), no. 1 (p. 3). It is interesting to note that in the revised version of the Formula 
incorporated into the apostolic letter of Julius III in 1550, the phrase has become "to serve 
the Lord alone and his Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff, the vicar of Christ 
on earth." Service is now focused on the Church rather than on the Roman Pontiff. 
Hereafter, citations from the Constitutions will be indicated by Cons. 

3 There is also a concern expressed in the Constitutions about safe and approved 
doctrine, though the motivation seems to be unity and growth among the members more 
than orthodoxy. See Cons., nos. 273, 274, 358, 464, 671, 672, 814, 821. 

Fidelity in the Church—Then and Now 

in serving his king and a vassal in serving his lord, so Ignatius desired to be 
faithful in serving Christ in his Church. 

This is not the place to examine in any detail Ignatius's theology of 
the Church as it emerged from his life experience and as it took shape in all 
his writings. In fact, as Philip Endean points out, "Ignatius himself came 
nowhere near formulating his vision of Church satisfactorily." 4 Ignatius's 
ecclesiology was more a lived ecclesiology than a clearly articulated theology 
of the Church. This essay will focus, then, on a brief document that those 
trying to summarize Ignatius's attitude toward the Church often have 
recourse to— his "Rules for Thinking with the Church," one of a series of 
directives that Ignatius includes at the end of the Spiritual Exercises. In 
addition to the rules for thinking with the Church, Ignatius also offers rules 
dealing with discernment, the distribution of alms, and scruples. 

The Spiritual Exercises began as a record of Ignatius's religious 
experience at Manresa in 1521. When he left Manresa that year, the Exercises 
were largely finished. Ignatius did not compose the "Rules for Thinking with 
the Church," however, until his student days in Paris were drawing to an 
end, some thirteen or fourteen years after Manresa. Some of these rules were 
probably written only after he had arrived in Rome in 1537. They were the 
last substantial addition to the Exercises, but in no sense can they be inter- 
preted as their culmination. In fact, Ignatius did not even think these rules 
should be proposed to everyone making the Exercises, but only to those 
who would find them helpful. It is well to bear in mind that the book of 
the Exercises was a handbook for the director, not a text for the one making 
the retreat. 

John O'Malley calls these rules "a manifesto of Ignatius's ortho- 
doxy," an orthodoxy that was challenged more than once in his lifetime. 5 
The rules are clearly directed, though not by name, against some of the 
alleged opponents of the Church at that time— the Lutherans, the false 
mystics, and even some Catholics like Erasmus who criticized the Church. 6 

4 Philip Endean, "Ignatius and Church Authority," The Way Supplement no. 70 
(Spring 1991), 79. In his article, Endean refers to the work of Raymond Schwager, Das 
dramatische Kirchenverstandis bei Ignatius Loyola (Zurich, 1970). Schwager's book and 
several other references given by Endean (see for example, pp. 88-89 n. 8) explore the 
question of Ignatius's ecclesiology. On Ignatius's view of Church, also see John O'Malley, 
The First Jesuits (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993), 296-98. 

5 First Jesuits, 49. 

See George Ganss, S.J., trans., The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius (St. Louis: 
Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1992), 197f. (endnote 163). 

6 + Gerald M. Fagin, SJ. 

As we read these rules today, they may seem rigid and conformist; 
however, as O'Malley points out, "the doctrinal implications they contain 
do not differ from those to which Catholics of the sixteenth century would 
have subscribed." 7 When they first appeared in the sixteenth century, they 
aroused little controversy, indicating that they were not regarded as an 
exaggerated form of orthodoxy at that time. They certainly have to be read 
against the background of a Church that saw itself under attack. 8 

The rules are ultimately concerned, not with unbending laws, but 
rather with attitudes regarding the Church and its teaching and authority. In 
fact, the traditional title, "Rules for Thinking with the Church," is mislead- 
ing on several counts. First, Ignatius did not use that title. In the autograph 
text of the Exercises, the heading of the rules is "Toward acquiring the 
genuine attitude which we ought to maintain in the Church militant, the 
following directives should be observed." Further, the word "rules" refers, 
not to obligatory precepts, but rather to directives, suggestions, guides, or 
patterns. Also the word that we translate as "thinking" is sentire, which 
means a felt knowledge that guides one's activities or practices. In the words 
of George Ganss, "[I]t means cognition which is basically intellectual but is 
savored so repeatedly that it becomes also deeply emotional and 'satisfies the 
soul.'" 9 In his recent translation of the Exercises, George Ganss speaks of 
"[Rules for thinking, judging, and feeling with the Church] to have the 
genuine attitude which we ought to maintain in the Church militant. . ." 
(no. 352). The rules, then, are really directives or suggestions to help develop 
a habitual attitude or outlook to guide one in serving the Church. 10 

We need not go through the rules in detail, but a general overview 
will be helpful. The first rule sets the tone for the rest. "With all judgment 
of our own put aside, we ought to keep our minds disposed and ready to be 
obedient in everything to the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, which is our 
Holy Mother the hierarchical Church" (no. 353). This rule refers to the 

7 First Jesuits, 49. 

8 A further problem is to disengage the Ignatian understanding of Church and 
papacy from the later overlays of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century counterreform and 
nineteenth-century postrevolutionary and ultramontane interpretations. See John Padberg, 
S.J., "Ignatius, the Popes, and Realistic Reverence," STUDIES IN THE SPIRITUALITY OF 
JESUITS 25, no. 3 (May 1993): 36f. 

9 Spiritual Exercises, 199 (endnote 164), alluding to the text of the Spiritual 
Exercises, no. 2. Hereafter citations from the Ignatian text will be indicated by SpEx. 

10 These ideas are further developed in George E. Ganss, "St. Ignatius's 'Rules 
for Thinking with the Church,'" STUDIES IN THE SPIRITUALITY OF JESUITS 7, no. 1 (1975): 
12-20. Also see id., Spiritual Exercises, 197-200. 

Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now 4* 7 

Church as the Spouse of Christ and our Mother, images that obviously 
evoke a feeling of love toward the Church. 11 Ignatius also refers to "the 
hierarchical Church," though this description is rare in his writings. 12 

The rules are concerned to promote and preserve unity in the 
Church. They were written at a time when the Church was closing ranks 
against the Reformers. Thus rules 2 through 9 praise and recommend the 
very things that the opponents of the Church attacked: reception of the 
sacraments, the vows of religion, all the precepts of the Church, and Chris- 
tian devotions, such as veneration of relics and images, pilgrimages, fasting 
and abstinence. Rules 10 through 12 encourage the proper attitude toward 
those in authority, the Church's theology— both positive and Scholastic—and 
the saints. 

The last five rules deal with complex and controverted doctrinal 
topics such as predestination, faith and works, grace and freedom, and give 
advice on how to speak of these topics prudently. The concern of Ignatius 
was that the people not be led astray. 

These rules were not written for the general public, but for a select 
group of people making the Exercises. One way to interpret them is as a set 
of guidelines for someone nearing the end of the Exercises who now desires 
to labor with Christ and spread the reign of God and wants to do this in 
union with the visible Church. Such a person would be working among 
those who oppose the Church, its teachings, and its practices. In the same 
way, these directives offer external or more objective criteria in making an 
election, thus helping to balance the more subjective discernment of spirits 
at the heart of the election process. Ignatius believed that the discernment of 
God's will included a discernment of the interior movements of the heart, 
but he also proposed certain objective criteria, such as the Scriptures and the 
teaching of the Church. 13 

11 In his other writings, Ignatius had a preference for the Pauline image of the 
Body of Christ and, in the Constitutions, the image of the vineyard of the Lord (see Cons., 
Pan VII, on mission and ministries). O'Malley notes that a [i]n his [Ignatius's] catechesis, 
the Church was simply 'a congregation of the Christian faithful, illumined and governed 
by our Lord'" {First Jesuits, 297). None of these images focus attention on the structures of 
the Church. 

12 See O'Malley, First Jesuits, 297. According to Philip Endean, Yves Congar 
believes that Ignatius invented the term "hierarchical Church." (See Yves Congar, L'Eglise 
de Saint Augustin a Vepoque moderne [Paris, 1970], 369.) 

There is some evidence to suggest that the rules were not designed for use 
during the Exercises, but rather as guidelines for the time after the Exercises. See Endean, 
"Ignatius and Church Authority," 78. 

8 + Gerald M. Fagin, SJ. 


Before we move to the more recent history of the Society of Jesus, I 
think it would be helpful to recall Ignatius's lived experience of the Church 
and observe how the author of these quite straightforward rules for thinking 
with the Church dealt with the popes of his time. In "Ignatius, the Popes, 
and Realistic Reverence,'' John Padberg makes the point that we must read 
the rules of Ignatius in the context of examples of Ignatius's actual dealings 
with the popes (20). What did the attitudes proposed mean in practice? How 
in reality did Ignatius understand reverence for the pope, obedience, service, 
and thinking with the Church? Examples from Ignatius's life reveal that the 
lived relationship of Ignatius to the papacy was far more complex than a 
simple reading of the rules would lead us to believe. We cannot understand 
the mind and certainly not the actions of Ignatius by merely appealing to 
the rules or even to other writings of Ignatius. 

To make his point, Padberg offers four examples from the life of 
Ignatius in which he disagreed with different popes and actively set about 
using every possible means to change their minds. One can argue that in the 
end Ignatius would have obeyed, and in one case he did; but in three of the 
four instances, Ignatius eventually got his own way, and in the fourth, even 
though he finally consented, he did so without at all agreeing that what had 
been commanded was good or wise. 

The first example is the story of Claude Jay I have already men- 
tioned. Even though the Pope clearly stated that he had made a decision and 
that the decision was from the Holy Spirit, Ignatius acted upon the Pope's 
invitation to pray, but did not confine himself to prayer alone. He brought 
formidable pressure to bear on the King and the Pope to reconsider, with 
the result that Jay never became a bishop. Padberg gives two other examples 
of Ignatius's opposition to Jesuits' becoming cardinals and a fourth example 
of his opposition to the decree of a curial commission about missioning a 
Jesuit to a certain place when Ignatius judged that such an assignment would 
be harmful to the man involved. These stories are further examples of what 
Padberg calls Ignatius's "realistic reverence" in his thinking with the Church 
and responding to the wishes of the Holy See. Of course, these stories are 
not concerned with issues of doctrine but with issues of practical living in 
the Church; however, they are instances where Ignatius disagreed with the 
judgment and directives of those in authority. Ignatius resisted Jesuits' being 
appointed to ecclesiastical offices because he wished to maintain the Society 
as a mobile group of men available for mission, uninvolved in ecclesiastical 
politics and ambitions. 

The point of these stories is not to portray Ignatius as disobedient 
or lacking in the proper attitude toward the hierarchical Church, but rather 
to dramatize that Ignatius saw the actions described in these examples as 

Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now 

completely compatible with his rules and his profound reverence for and 
love of the Church. As Philip Endean points out, "[T]he understanding of 
the Church by which Ignatius lived was a great deal more subtle, interesting 
and plausible than that which we find on the surface of his writings." 14 In 
other words, Ignatius's attempts to gain approval for the ministry proper to 
the Society and to prevent Jesuits from being appointed bishops may teach 
us at least as much about his ecclesiology as do his writings. On one level, 
there is an inevitable tension in Ignatian spirituality between commitment to 
the Church and the magisterium and commitment to personal discernment 
and decision making; but as Ignatius points out in his rules, both values do 
in the end work together because it is the same Spirit at work in both (no. 365). 

The first challenge we face, then, in light of Ignatius's words and 
actions is to interpret properly and grasp how he understood his relationship 
to the Church and the Holy See and how he acted upon this understanding. 
That in itself is a difficult task. There is a temptation to read into Ignatius a 
nineteenth-century ecclesiology embodying a hierarchical model of the 
Church. Furthermore, as we read these rules today in the context of histori- 
cal consciousness, pluralism, and post-Vatican II models of the Church, we 
must ask to what extent these rules are conditioned by the theology and the 
experience of the Church of their day. What are the essential elements of the 
Jesuit charism and what are the elements that no longer apply? What does it 
mean to think with and in the Church today? What does it mean to be 
faithful to the Ignatian vision and charism in our world and culture? 

These challenging questions demand serious and thoughtful discus- 
sion in the Society and in the Church as a whole. How does contemporary 
theology address these questions and how has the Society of Jesus answered 
in an official way the questions about the meaning and interpretation of the 
Rules for Thinking with the Church today? The pages to follow will lay a 
foundation for this discussion, first, by sketching a contemporary theology 
of magisterium, and then by summarizing the attempts in recent Jesuit 
history since Vatican II to deal with these issues in the official teaching and 
decrees of general congregations of the Society of Jesus, in particular, in the 
decree of the Thirty-fourth General Congregation on service in the Church. 

14 "Ignatius and Church Authority," 76-90. 

10 •!• Gerald M. Fagin, S.J. 

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmymm ww////////. 

Fidelity Now 

Elements of a Contemporary Theology of Magisterium 

"Magisterium'' refers to the role and authority of the teacher. In the 
Church it refers to the office of teaching that is at the service of God's word. 
During the Middle Ages St. Thomas spoke of two kinds of magisterium, the 
magisterium of the bishops and the magisterium of the theologians. 15 The 
bishops possessed authority by virtue of their office, whereas the theologians 
derived their authority from their knowledge of theology. In the last few 
centuries, however, the term "magisterium" has become associated almost 
exclusively with the teaching role and authority of the hierarchy, in particu- 
lar with the pope and the bishops. This pastoral teaching authority is 
founded on a belief that the bishops are authoritative witnesses who share in 
the mandate which Jesus gave the apostles and who are assisted by the Holy 
Spirit when they teach. Their role is to listen to the word, guard it, and 
explain it, and, in that way, to pass on what they have received. 

Many questions can be raised about the basis of this teaching 
authority, the various forms of its exercise in the Church, and the subject 
matter appropriate for it; but I cannot pretend here to present a fully 
developed theology of magisterium. 16 Rather, I will present some notions 
that are foundational for further reflection on teaching and learning in the 
Church. The notions will also provide a background for reading the docu- 
ment of GC 34 on service in the Church. To develop these notions, I will 
rely extensively on a recent work on this subject, Teaching with Authority, 
written by Richard Gaillardetz. 17 

In this book, the author reconsiders the meaning and role of the 
magisterium in the Roman Catholic Church in the light of Vatican II. At 

15 Quodlibet m, 9, ad 3. 

16 For a fuller understanding of magisterium, see Ladislas Orsy, S.J., The Church: 
Learning and Teaching (Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1987), and Francis Sullivan, S.J., 
Magisterium: Teaching Authority in the Catholic Church (New York: Paulist, 1984). Francis 
Sullivan has also written the entries on "Magisterium'' in the following dictionaries: The 
New Dictionary of Theology, ed. Joseph Komonchak (Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1987), 
617-23; Dictionary of Fundamental Theology, ed. Rene Latourelle and Rino Fisichella (New 
York: Crossroad, 1994), 614-20; The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, ed. Richard 
McBrien (San Francisco: Harper, 1995), 805-7. 

17 Richard Gaillardetz, Teaching with Authority: A Theology of the Magisterium in 
the Church (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1997). His work incorporates previous studies on 
the magisterium and attempts to base a contemporary theology of the magisterium on a 
renewed theology of Church. 

Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now 4* 11 

the heart of his reflections are two basic principles: (1) that God's word has 
been given to the whole Christian community and not to only a chosen few 
and (2) that a proper understanding of the structures and functions of 
teaching authority must be rooted in a theology of the Church as commu- 
nion. These two principles give expression to the theology of revelation and 
the theology of Church articulated in the documents of Vatican II. 18 

The first principle acknowledges that the word of God is addressed 
to the whole people of God. Prior to Vatican II, revelation was understood 
primarily as a series or collection of propositional statements. Revelation 
was, to a large extent, identified with statements of faith or doctrines that 
called for assent from the believer. These doctrines were articulated in 
Church councils and in magisterial teaching, and the role of the believer was 
to accept these statements as God's word addressed to the community. 
Obviously, the articulation of faith into doctrines and official teachings is 
one aspect of revelation and a necessary part of the life of a community. 
Revelation does have cognitive content and can be formulated into state- 
ments of faith. Vatican II, however, shifted the emphasis from this proposi- 
tional understanding of revelation to an understanding of revelation as God's 
personal self-communication in Jesus. Revelation is first of all an invitation 
to all people to enter into communion with the triune God. Revelation is 
not primarily a body of knowledge or a series of truths communicated by 
those with the authority to teach. It is an encounter with God, a self- 
disclosure of himself to all and an invitation to a personal relationship of 
love. Faith is not primarily an assent to truths, but a response of trust and 
commitment to God. 19 

The propositional understanding of revelation that equates revela- 
tion with doctrinal statements lends itself to a hierarchical view of revelation 
in which teaching is handed down from the teaching Church to the learning 
Church. The response of the learning Church is assent to the statements or 
doctrines given, motivated by the authority of the teacher rather than by the 
authority of what is taught. But once it is accepted that God's word is given 
to the whole community by the power of the Spirit, then God's word 
cannot be restricted to a few leaders within the Church, but must be 
received and articulated in a context of dialogue. This is not to deny the 
proper role of authoritative teaching, but to place it in the broader context 

Many other ideas merit discussion in relation to this topic; for example, the 
teaching role of the bishop, the relation of the bishops to the pope, collegiality, levels of 
Church teaching, dissent and assent. Gaillardetz discusses these and provides a 
bibliography for further reading on these topics. 

1 For a fuller discussion of this, see Gaillardetz, Teaching with Authority, 69-100. 

12 4* Gerald M. Fagin, S.J. 

of a community of conversation. As Gaillardetz puts it, a [T]he word of God 
emerges within the whole Church through a complex set of ecclesial rela- 
tionships in which all the baptized, professional theologians, and the college 
of bishops play important roles" (xi). In other words, the word of God 
emerges within the whole Church. 

The second principle that grounds a contemporary theology of the 
magisterium is the imaging of the Church as communion. Clearly, Lumen 
gentium, Vatican IPs document on the Church, shifted the emphasis from an 
understanding of the Church as institution to an understanding of the 
Church as communion. The central image of the People of God highlights 
the Church as a covenant community that develops throughout history, a 
pilgrim people with roots in the past and an unfolding future. The image 
also stresses the communality of all people in their baptism. Structures and 
offices and the diversity of ministries in the Church must be understood in 
light of this common vocation of all Christians. The council members 
consciously placed the chapter on the People of God before the chapters on 
the hierarchy and the laity to emphasize that clergy and laity are all part of 
God's people and that structures and offices are at the service of the community. 

This focus on the people of God, however, must be understood in 
light of the deeper reality of the Church as a communion founded in the 
Trinity. The first chapter of Lumen gentium speaks of the Church as mys- 
tery. Rather than focus first on the Church as institution, the council 
members decided, as Gaillardetz notes, "to reassert that the reality of the 
Church goes beyond its structures and laws to participate in the ineffable 
presence of God. . . . The innermost reality of the Church, its participation 
in the triune life of God, shifts from background to foreground" (6). This 
means that all relations in the Church should reflect and mediate the rela- 
tions in the Trinity that are mutual and reciprocal. 

Through the Church we are invited to communion with God and 
one another. The notion of communion was a central concept at Vatican II. 
Gaillardetz points out that **[t]he council retrieved this notion of commu- 
nion from the biblical and patristic concept of koinonia or communio" (8f.). 
He goes on to explain that "koinonia is usually translated as 'fellowship,' 
'communion,' or 'participation.' The biblical authors employed the word 
koinonia primarily to describe humankind's participation in the divine life of 
God" (9). We are all called through the Son and the Spirit to share in the 
triune life of the God of love and communion. But the notion of commu- 
nion is not restricted to communion with God. Gaillardetz remarks that in 
St. Paul "[t]he term koinonia expressed the fundamental connection between 
participation in the life of God and participation in Christian community'' 
(10). The Church is a fellowship of believers called together by the Spirit. 

Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now *h 13 

All Christians are called to live in communion with God and with one 
another. This is the foundational reality of Church that is prior to any 
structures or offices in the Church. 

Vatican II presented the temple of the Holy Spirit as another image 
of the Church. It acknowledged the Spirit as the origin of the Church and 
the source of its unity, diversity, and continued life. Gaillardetz thus summa- 
rizes the varied role of the Spirit: "In the Spirit's constitution of the Church 
we must admit an ongoing, dynamic presence of the Spirit, continuing to 
mold and shape the Church through the exercise of human freedom. The 
Church is seen not only as a stable institution but as a dynamic entity open 
to the future" (20). The recognition of the presence of the Spirit in all 
Christians relativizes a hierarchical model that images the Spirit as coming 
down on the Church only through the structures of the Church. Both 
offices and charisms are gifts of the Spirit, and all the faithful are empowered 
by their baptisms to share in the life and ministry of the Church. In speak- 
ing of authority in this context, Gaillardetz concludes that "an authority 
exercised within the Church is an authority that acknowledges the dignity, 
the rights and the responsibilities of every member of the Church. It is an 
authority that recognizes that God's Spirit communicates to the Church not 
only through ecclesiastical office but through the lives of all believers" (26). 
This acknowledgement of the Spirit's presence in all Christians leads to the 
concepts of ecclesial reception and the sensus fidelium. 

Gaillardetz describes ecclesial reception as "the process by which 
some teaching, ritual, discipline, or law is assimilated into the life of the 
Church" (228). Ecclesial reception implies an active discernment by the 
community of the truth of what it received and the assimilation of that 
truth into the life of the community. In other words, "[r]eception meant not 
mere acceptance but transformation, both of the receiving community and 
that which was received" (229). Gaillardetz reflects that the notion of 
reception was widespread in the first thousand years of the Church when 
the dominant ecclesiology was a communion ecclesiology, but it was re- 
placed by a juridical notion of obedience as the Church moved toward a 
more hierarchical model (229). In a communion model, however, reception 
is an integral part of the teaching process that respects the work of the Spirit 
in the whole Church and recognizes that truth is worked out in dialogue 
and tested in living. 20 

The traditional concept of the sensus fidelium adds another dimen- 
sion to the concept of ecclesial reception. Sensus fidelium refers to "the 


On the notion of ecclesial reception, see also Sullivan, Magisterium, esp. pp. 

14 + Gerald M. Fagin, S.J. 


inerrancy of the faith of the whole community of believers. " 21 It implies a 
sense of the faith in each believer and in the whole community that makes it 
possible "to recognize divine revelation and to respond to it in faith" (233). 
Thus the faith and discernment of the people are an important part of the 
process of teaching and learning in the Church. There is a distinct role of 
leadership for the pastoral teaching authority, but it cannot ignore the 
response of the believing community, who also possess the Spirit and a sense 
of the faith. 22 

In summary, Vatican II moved the Church away from a pyramidal 
conception of the Church that understood revelation as God's word coming 
down from God to the rest of the Christian community only through the 
hierarchy. This model had led to a passive role for the laity and a clear 
distinction between the teaching and the learning Church. An ecclesiology 
of communion, founded on the triune God, conceives of the Church as a 
relational reality in which all relationships are mutual and reciprocal and in 
which the Spirit speaks to all Christians in a variety of ways. Such an 
understanding of Church and revelation calls for processes of communication 
and dialogue. It invites an open and honest conversation within the Church. 
In the end, it acknowledges that though there is a legitimate and necessary 
role for authoritative teaching to help articulate and safeguard the truth of 
the Gospel, the whole Church is called to be both a teaching Church and a 
learning Church. Genuine teaching authority must encourage a dialogue that 
reverences the Spirit at work in the whole Church. This view of Church 
underlies the document from General Congregation 34 on service in the 
Church. The next section will review that document in the context of the 
three congregations that led up to it. 

From General Congregation 31 to General Congregation 34 

In January 1995 two hundred and thirty Jesuits assembled in Rome 
for the Thirty-fourth General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, the 
fourth such congregation since Vatican II. The first of them, General 
Congregation 31, met in two sessions in 1965 and 1966. The document 
entitled "The Mission of the Society of Jesus Today" made clear reference to 
the promise of the first Jesuits to obey the Roman Pontiff with regard to 

21 Gaillardetz, Teaching with Authority, 231. 

22 On this idea of the sensus fidelium, see Sullivan, "The Infallibility of the People 
of God," chap. 1 of Magisterium, esp. pp. 21-23. Referring to Lumen gentium, no. 12, 
Sullivan notes that the sense of faith of the people enables them to discern the word of 
God, to recognize and cling to the truth, to penetrate the word more deeply, and to apply 
the word to life. 

Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now •!• 15 

mission. 23 The document "The Training of Scholastics Especially in Studies'* 
exhorted Jesuits to see that in all matters "their knowledge is well-grounded, 
according to the norms which the Holy See has given us" (d. 9, no. 42). The 
document reminded professors that "they should let themselves be guided by 
the mind and will of the Church, [and] show proper respect for the teaching 
authority of the Church" (no. 43). At that time, fidelity and obedience to 
the magisterium did not seem to raise any questions. 

By the Thirty-second General Congregation in 1974, however, the 
exciting and tumultuous years after Vatican II had created quite a different 
set of circumstances. The first decree of the congregation voiced concern: 
"Others, when they read publications in which Jesuits unsympathetically 
criticize one another, their own Father General, the magisterium of the 
Church, and even the Holy Father, ask whether Jesuits have lost their 
traditional loyalty, obedience, and devotion to the Society and the Church" 
(d. 1, no. 4). In its third decree, the congregation dealt explicitly with the 
question of fidelity. Entitled "Fidelity of the Society to the Magisterium and 
the Supreme Pontiff," the decree, in four short paragraphs, acknowledges the 
obligation of reverence and fidelity toward the magisterium of the Church 
and, in a special way, to the Supreme Pontiff. It recalls the tradition in the 
Society of serving the Church by explaining, propagating, and defending the 
faith, and goes on to express regret for particular failings on the part of some 
members of the Society who were less than faithful to this tradition. Finally, 
the congregation recommends that superiors encourage freedom, but also 
take care "to prevent and correct the failings which weaken fidelity to the 
magisterium and service to the faith and the Church" (d. 3, no. 46). The 
context is reverence and fidelity, but also clearly a desire to be of service to 
the Church. 

In 1983 the Jesuits again convened in a general congregation to elect 
a new superior general. The Thirty-third General Congregation issued only 
one major or substantive decree, "Companions of Jesus Sent into Today's 
World." In the opening section of this decree, the Society committed itself 
again to serving the Church and encouraged all "to foster a truly Ignatian 
readiness for active collaboration with the Supreme Pontiff and all who share 
pastoral office with him." 24 

23 The decrees of GC 31, in Documents of the 31st and 32nd General 
Congregations of the Society of Jesus (St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1977), d. 1, nos. 5 
and 7. 

Documents of the 33rd General Congregations of the Society of Jesus (St. Louis: 
Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1984), no. 8. 

16 * Gerald M. Fagin, S.J. 

mrn:mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mm 

Both the Thirty-second and Thirty-third General Congregations 
made reference to the Rules for Thinking with the Church, affirming the 
spirit of the rules and the need to apply them today, but recognizing the 
changed historical context in which we live. 25 

Finally, we must not overlook an important talk delivered by Fr. 
General Kolvenbach in Rome in September 1987, at the end of the Sixty- 
seventh Procurators' Congregation, including a delegate elected from each 
Jesuit province of the world. Dealing as it did with the topic of fidelity in 
the Church and the relation of the Society to the Holy See, the talk served 
as an important source and inspiration to those drafting the document of 
GC 34 on service in the Church. Fr. Kolvenbach reaffirmed the Society's 
original tradition of fidelity to the Vicar of Christ and the hierarchical 
Church. He recognized, however, the new situation in the world and in the 
Church when he stated that "[b]ecause they [the Rules for Thinking with 
the Church] are, in their form and in certain examples, in a sense obsolete, it 
is no use expecting these rules to provide an immediate solution to the 
ecclesial problems of our day," though "in their substance these rules have 
lost nothing of their actuality." 26 The last part of Fr. Kolvenbach's talk is an 
expansion of the exhortation of GC 33 that "the entire Society seek to 
incorporate itself more and more vigorously and creatively in the life of the 
Church" (d. 1, no. 8). For Fr. Kolvenbach, these words from GC 33 give the 
real meaning and significance of the expression "to think with [or in] the 
Church." 27 

Now we can consider the most recent general congregation of the 
Society of Jesus. The major thrust of General Congregation 34 was a reflec- 
tion on the mission of the Society today. The congregation reaffirmed the 
integral connection between the service of faith and the promotion of 
justice, but it also added as essential to the mission of the Society the 
elements of inculturation and interreligious dialogue. Moreover, it dealt with 
issues internal to the life and structure of the Society, as well as with the 

25 GC 32, d. 11, no. 33, and GC 33, no. 8. 

26 Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, "Final Address to the Sixty-seventh Congregation 
of Procurators" (in French), Acta Romana Societatis Iesu 19 (1987): 1081-83 (no. 8). 

27 Kolvenbach, "Final Address," no. 10. We might well reflect at greater length 
on the difference between thinking with the Church and thinking in the Church. 
Thinking in the Church implies participation in a process rather than conformity to a 
conclusion already determined. 

Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now 4* 17 

ministries of the Society. The document we are concerned with is a On 
Having a Proper Attitude of Service in the Church." 28 

The issue of service and fidelity in the Church was not a major 
concern in the work that preceded the congregation. The preparatory 
commission that organized all the material submitted by province congrega- 
tions made no reference to this topic and did not recommend that it be 
addressed at the meeting. As a delegate to GC 34, I was present when the 
topic emerged at a general session early in the congregation while the agenda 
for the three-month meeting was being drawn up. When the topic arose, 
there were many who were skeptical that the congregation could say 
anything of substance on such a complex and delicate subject. In fact, not a 
few of the delegates counseled that no further treatment of the subject be 
undertaken, recommending instead that the congregation should content 
itself with a simple affirmation of GCs 32 and 33. On the other hand, a 
substantial majority, convinced that the relationship with the Vatican and 
the Pope was passing through a more serene phase at that time than had 
been the case twelve years previously, urged that the time was right to draft 
a more nuanced and substantive statement, or at least to attempt such a 
document. A commission was formed, which set about the task of writing a 
first draft. After it had submitted three or four drafts to the whole congrega- 
tion and received from them extended comments and amendments, the 
delegates voted overwhelmingly for the decree on service in the Church. 

"On Having a Proper Attitude of Service in the Church" is not an 
easy document to summarize because, like statements of this type, it is 
dialectical, attempting to balance values that are often in tension. It affirms 
one value, while balancing it against a seemingly contradictory value. Such a 
document can provide quotations for both sides in a debate. In the end, the 
tension described is between fidelity to the Church and the need for critical 
reflection and dialogue in the search for the truth. 

In the first place, the context of the document is not obedience but 
service. 29 The concern of the Society is to serve the Church and to witness 
to and foster the reign of God. Questions of tradition and progress, assent 
and dissent, obedience and representation are always addressed in the 
broader context of service and in the context of fostering a proper attitude 
toward such service. It is interesting that the approach takes us back to the 

8 Documents of the Thirty-Fourth General Congregation of the Society of Jesus (St. 
Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1995). 

Philip Endean remarks that the conclusion of Raymond Schwager's study of 
Ignatius's ecclesiology was that "Ignatius's lived ecclesiology centered on service to the 
Church rather than obedience to it ("Ignatius and Church Authority," 79). 

18 * Gerald M. Fagin, SJ. 

original title of Ignatius's "Rules for Thinking with the Church": "Toward 
acquiring the genuine attitude which we ought to maintain in the Church 
militant. ..." In the same way, the document of GC 34 does not lay down 
strict guidelines or rules of procedure; instead, it encourages a disposition of 
mind and heart, an attitude of reverence and fidelity and service. 

The four-paragraph introduction of the document speaks exclusively 
of service, the "long and permanent tradition of service proper to the 
Society" (d. 11, no. 1). It speaks of service performed in the ministries of the 
Society, service in scholarly research and writing and teaching, and the 
service of justice. 

The second section of the document sets the new context of Church 
and world for that service, a world "gripped by strong sociopolitical and 
technological changes, often of a revolutionary character" (no. 4) and a 
struggle for justice; a Church "engaged in its own dialectic of traditio and 
progressw" (no. 5) that leads to tensions in all aspects of the Church's life. 
The document makes its own the ecclesiology of Vatican II, a vision of the 
Church as a pilgrim people of God, a community of local churches, a 
collegial Church, a Church that recognizes the role of the laity and the 
coresponsibility of all God's people for the life of the Church. 

The third section addresses the challenges of the times, beginning 
with a renewed commitment to "fidelity to the teaching of the Church as it 
discerns and confronts the signs of the times" (no. 9). This statement sets the 
tone for the rest of the document— a creative tension between fidelity to the 
teaching of the Church and alertness to the signs of the times. This is a 
tension that is not only inevitable but healthy and life-giving for the 
Church. We can perhaps raise our comfort level by choosing one side of the 
creative tension, but in the process we will lose the dynamism and dialectic 
that is the source of the Church's growth in faith and life. 30 At the risk of 
focusing on the more controversial aspects of a very balanced and nuanced 
document, I would like to highlight some of the more thought-provoking 
and distinctive ideas that attempt to reexamine the charism of fidelity. 

Section 3 contains a reference to the words of Fr. Kolvenbach 
concerning "new situations being presented to the Society, demanding, in 
full fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church, valid responses to so many 

30 In his speech to the procurators in 1987, Fr. Kolvenbach remarks that "it is in 
vain that we attempt to fix divisive frontiers between faith and reason, between obedience 
and liberty, between love and a critical spirit, between personal responsibility and ecclesial 
obedience" ("Final Address," no. 8). 

Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now 4 s 19 

healthy questions from the People of God.* 31 This fidelity, however, must 
"adhere to the accepted norms of assent and to Catholic teaching on the 
hierarchy of truths and the development of Church doctrine" (no. 11). The 
important point, then, is that all truths are not of the same importance in 
Catholic faith and that all truths are open to a deeper understanding and a 
more precise articulation. 

After affirming the important service of scholars and theologians 
toward maintaining the respectability of the Christian tradition in the 
contemporary world of intellectual and cultural discourse, the document 
recalls a statement of Fr. Kolvenbach that "through their very apostolic 
responsibility, Jesuits are inevitably dragged into conflictual, even explosive 
ecclesiastical situations" (d. 11, no. 11). The congregation's document continues: 

Our response to such situations can give rise to tensions with some Church 
authorities. Despite— indeed, because of — our sincere desire to live in fidelity 
to the Magisterium and the hierarchy, there may be times when we feel 
justified, even obliged, to speak out in a way that may not always win us 
general approval and could even lead to sanctions painful to the Society and 
constituting an impediment to our work. (no. 13) 

To do so does not put the Jesuit in a stance of disobedience or revolt. 
Ignatian obedience, in accord with the tradition of Catholic theology, has 
always recognized that our first fidelity must be to God, to the truth, and 
to a well-formed conscience. Obedience, then, cannot exclude our prayerful 
discernment of the course of action to be followed, one that may in some 
circumstances differ from the one suggested by our religious and Church 
superiors. Such discernment, and its respectful representation to superiors, is 
an authentic element of our Ignatian tradition, (no. 14) 

The recognition that fidelity and speaking out are mutually compatible 
promotes a mature understanding of obedience as actively dialogic and not 
simply passively compliant. 

In the next paragraph, however, the document reminds us that 
"Ignatian obedience is one of concrete fidelity to the real, visible, hierarchical 
Church, not to some abstract ideal." The Church "is the community of 
believers to which we belong." And so "once the discernment is accom- 
plished and the representations made, the Jesuit attitude will ultimately be 
one modeled on the 'Rules in Order to Have the Proper Attitude of Mind 
in the Church Militant' of St. Ignatius" (no. 15). 32 

D. 11, no. 11. The words of Fr. Kolvenbach are quoted from his speech at the 
procurator's congregation, no. 7. 

32 Kolvenbach, "Final Address," no. 4. 

20 + Gerald M. Fagin, S J. 

In the next paragraph GC 34's document clarifies this reference to 
Ignatius's rules by adding, a [W]e are well aware that the context in which 
Ignatius wrote these rules is very different from that of today. But Ignatian 
service in the Church is not a history lesson, It is a profound mystical bond 
that transcends the particularities of its historical origins in the sixteenth- 
century Church*' (no. 16). 

This section ends with this affirmation: "Therefore, if there is a time 
for speaking out, there may also be a time for silence. ... If there is a time 
for representation, there is also a time for the abnegation of our intellect and 
will which becomes for us a new way of seeing through the clouds of 
suffering and uncertainty to a higher truth and wisdom, that of the Cross" 
(no. 17). The good of the individual, but even more the good of the commu- 
nity and the service of truth, will determine when speaking out is appropri- 
ate and when silence is indicated. 

Before drawing some general conclusions, we should mention a few 
key ideas from the remaining sections of the document. In the section "The 
Jesuit Response: A Contemporary Perspective," we read that our love of 
Christ and our love of the Church "can also oblige us to engage in construc- 
tive criticism based on a prayerful discernment," but that this "cannot justify 
a lack of solidarity with the Church" (no. 20). The goal is always to under- 
stand the mind of the hierarchical Church and to articulate the faith of the 
people. This is to be done in the spirit of the Ignatian rules. Thus, criticism 
is always to be expressed in a spirit of respect and affection for those in 
authority, acknowledging the grace of their guidance as a corrective to our 
own limitations (no. 22). Finally, the document suggests that "between the 
extremes of premature, ill-considered public criticism and servile silence there 
exists the alternative of moderate and respectful expression of our views" 
(no. 24). 

As I said earlier, the document is dialectical and at pains to balance 
contrasting values on a sensitive subject. The document has moved beyond a 
simplistic affirmation of obedience and fidelity to a much more realistic 
statement of the complex coresponsibility of all Christians, both hierarchy 
and laity, to search for the truth and to be of service. This decree presents a 
much more nuanced and creative understanding of fidelity in and to the 
Church. Such an understanding is possible because it is rooted in a Vati- 
can II ecclesiology that understands the Church as a communion, a commu- 
nity of believers with different gifts, but also as a dialogic community in 
which the Spirit is at work in all its members. All then are obliged in 
fidelity to speak the truth as they see it and to continue the conversation, 
always with deep reverence and respect for the teaching office of the college 
of bishops with the pope at its head, but also with a shared openness and 

Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now •!• 21 

willingness to listen, not closing off discussion because the search for the 
truth is too unsettling. 

This document from the congregation is also written in the context 
of a renewed theology of papal ministry and of the magisterium, a theology 
that is rooted in modern scriptural scholarship, historico-critical studies, and 
the decrees of Vatican II, as well as the lived experience of Christians 
belonging to both the Eastern and the Western churches. This theology 
attempts to articulate the nature and traditional limits of the exercise of 
authority in the Church. In the light of this, the document understands the 
role of the theologian not solely as the defense and explanation of the official 
teaching of the Church, but also as a learned attempt to deepen the 
Church's understanding of the truth entrusted to it and to articulate that 
truth in ways faithful to the tradition, yet responsive to the insights and 
thought forms of the contemporary culture. We cannot in this context 
overestimate the positive impact that historical consciousness and pluralism 
exert upon our understanding of Church, authority, and the search for the 

Is this document faithful to or in continuity with Ignatius's Rules 
for Thinking with the Church? First, we must admit that, as Fr. Kolvenbach 
and the congregation have said, the context in which Ignatius wrote the 
rules is very different from what obtains today, but, at the same time, that 
the passion for service and the desire to be faithful are at the heart of both 
documents. To say otherwise, I think, is to read the documents with a kind 
of fundamentalism that distorts the spirit and intent that are central to the 
Ignatian vision. 


Finally, what does this document say to our Church today? It speaks 
of the context in which we live— a Church in transition, a Church 
struggling to be faithful to a tradition by examining, rethinking, 
proclaiming, and living that tradition with the inspiration of God's Spirit. 
The document acknowledges the inevitable conflicts that have arisen from 
the new vision of Vatican II, but it reminds us that "most major ecumenical 
councils have set in motion a very lengthy process of reform and renewal 
which did not reach a lived consensus for centuries" (d. 11, no. 7). To 
paraphrase Jaroslav Pelikan, tradition is too often the dead faith of living 

22 + Gerald M. Fagin, S.J. 


people rather than the living faith of dead people. 33 This document and the 
whole history of the Church call us to a creative fidelity to the Church in 
its life and teaching. Creative fidelity simply means living in the Church as 
thinking, reflective people who search for the truth in honesty and humility. 
There are different gifts and roles in the Church: there are popes, bishops, 
theologians, and faithful Christians. The truth arises and is affirmed in a 
conversation, a lived dialogue among all the members of the Christian 
community. There must be a place for conservative voices that affirm the 
tradition that has been handed down. There must also be a place for rea- 
soned and prophetic voices that challenge the tradition to respond to new 
questions and insights. 

Tragically, a growing chasm of intolerance between right and left, 
conservative and liberal, divides the Church today. There is a deadening lack 
of genuine dialogue because each side has formed stereotypes of the other, 
has ceased to listen to the other, and has moved to simplistic judgments of 
the other. One side can at times be tempted to indulge in an arrogance, a 
lack of appreciation for the richness of the tradition, a fascination with the 
new, and disregard for authority. The other side can at times be tempted to 
manifest a rigidity, a fear of change, an intolerance for ambiguity, a confu- 
sion of mindless conformity with orthodoxy. All of these temptations on 
both sides only divide the Church further and stifle the shared faith and 
dialogue that enlivens the Church and brings the whole truth to light. 

The GC 34 document states some basic principles that are very 
much a part of the Church's tradition— a hierarchy of truths, development of 
doctrine, fidelity to truth and conscience, a need for constructive criticism 
and respectful expression of one's views. All of these elements are not only 
compatible with but are in fact essential to true fidelity and service in the 
Church. For those who think criticism and questioning and speaking out are 
at odds with loyalty and fidelity, this is a disturbing document. For those 
who see the truth as the result of a dynamic and self-correcting process of 
learning hammered out in a context of open dialogue, this document is a 
challenge to engage in the kind of reasoned reflection that has been the 
source of the Church's growth in understanding and living the gospel 
tradition. Robert Taft, a Jesuit theologian at the Pontifical Oriental Institute 
in Rome and a delegate to GC 34, has written an insightful essay on the 
document we have been considering. He concluded with these words: "We 
debated, we struggled, we argued, we revised— and we came up with a 

33 Pelikan's exact words are "Tradition is the living faith of the dead, 
traditionalism is the dead faith of the living" (The Vindication of Tradition [New Haven, 
Conn.: Yale University Press, 1984], 65). 

Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now •!• 23 

document those of us engaged in intellectual apostolates considered an 
absolute necessity, but one that tried to be scrupulously respectful of the 
Church, of its hierarchy, of our tradition, but above all of the truth, for 
which we are ultimately responsible to no one but ourselves and God." 34 

The document's concluding section is entitled "In the End— Fidelity 
to Our Jesuit Charism to Serve." This essay has reflected on the notion of 
fidelity in the Church as Ignatius expressed it in the sixteenth century in his 
"Rules for Thinking with the Church" and as the Thirty-fourth General 
Congregation expressed it in the twentieth century in its decree "On Having 
a Proper Attitude of Service in the Church." Both expressions call us to a 
profound attitude of fidelity in the context of service. The desire to be 
faithful servants has been the passion and driving force of the Society of 
Jesus since its foundation. That same desire continues to shape the life and 
ministry of the Society today. 

34 Robert Taft, S.J., "Respectful of the Church, Responsible to the Truth," The 
National Jesuit News, October 1995, p. 9. 



Thinking with the Church Today 
(From the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola) 

These Rules possibly date from Ignatius's stay in Paris (1528-35) and were in the manu- 
script of the Spiritual Exercises during their revision in Rome (1539-41). They come at 
the very end of the Exercises and are intended for someone who for a month has been 
engaged in those Exercises and was now about to return to ordinary life in the perilous 
and stormy situation of the Church at the time. They do not constitute a theoretical 
treatise in ecclesiology, but rather a set of practical counsels. The usual English title, "Rules 
for Thinking with the Church," is not adequate to express their context or what Ignatius 
actually had in mind. For handy reference George E. Ganss suggests the title "Rules for 
Thinking, Judging, and Feeling with the Church. " See his brief but careful notes to these 
Rules on pages 197-200 of his edition of the Exercises. 






353 x The First Rule. With all judgment 
of our own put aside, we ought to keep 
our minds disposed and ready to be obe- 
dient in everything to the true Spouse of 
Christ our Lord, which is our holy 
Mother the hierarchical Church. 

354 x The Second. We should praise con- 
fession to a priest, reception of the Most 
Blessed Sacrament once a year, and 
much more once a month, and still 
more every week, always with the re- 
quired and proper conditions. 

355 x The Third. We should praise fre- 
quent attendance at Mass; also, chants, 
psalmody, and long prayers inside and 
outside the church; 2 and further, the 

schedules setting the times for the whole 
Divine Office, for prayers of every kind, 
and for all the canonical hours. 

356 l The Fourth. We should strongly 
praise religious institutes, virginity and 
continence, and marriage too, but not as 
highly as any of the former. 

357 l The Fifth. We should praise the 
vows of religion, obedience, poverty, 
chastity, and vows to perform other 
works of supererogation which conduce 
to perfection. 2 We should remember, 
too, that just as a vow is made in regard 
to matters which lead towards evangeli- 
cal perfection, so vows ought not to be 
made with respect to matters that with- 
draw one from it, such as to enter busi- 
ness, to get married, and the like. 

358 l The Sixth. We should praise relics 
of saints, by venerating the relics and 
praying to the saints. We should extol 
visits to stational churches, pilgrimages, 
indulgences for jubilees and crusades, 
and the lighting of candles in churches. 

359 l The Seventh. We should praise pre- 
cepts of fast and abstinence, for example, 




in Lent, on ember days, vigils, Fridays 
and Saturdays; also penances, not only 
interior but also exterior. 

360 x The Eighth. We ought to praise 
church buildings and their decorations; 
also statues and paintings, and their ven- 
eration according to what they repre- 

361 l The Ninth. Lastly, we should praise 
all the precepts of the Church, while 
keeping our mind ready to look for rea- 
sons for defending them and not for at- 
tacking them in any way. 

362 x The Tenth. We ought to be more 
inclined to approve and praise the de- 
crees, recommendations, and conduct of 
our superiors [than to speak against 
them]. 2 For although in some cases their 
acts are not or were not praiseworthy, 
to speak against them either by preach- 
ing in public or by conversing among 
the ordinary people would cause more 
murmuring and scandal than profit. 
3 And through this the people would be- 
come angry at their officials, whether 
civil or spiritual. 4 However, just as it 
does harm to speak evil about officials 
among the ordinary people while they 
are absent, so it can be profitable to 
speak of their bad conduct to persons 
who can bring about a remedy. 

363 x The Eleventh. We ought to praise 
both positive theology and Scholastic 
theology. For just as it is more charac- 
teristic of the positive doctors, such as 
St. Jerome, St. Augustine, St. Gregory, 
and the rest to stir up our affections to- 
ward loving and serving God our Lord 
in all things, 2 so it is more characteristic 
of the Scholastic teachers, such as St. 
Thomas, St. Bonaventure, the Master of 
the Sentences, and so on 3 to define and 
explain for our times the matters neces- 
sary for salvation, and also to refute and 
expose all the errors and fallacies. 4 For 

the Scholastic teachers, being more mod- 
ern, can avail themselves of an authentic 
understanding of Sacred Scripture and 
the holy positive doctors. 5 Further still, 
being enlightened and clarified by divine 
influence, they make profitable use of 
the councils, canons, and decrees of our 
Holy Mother Church. 

364 l The Twelfth. We ought to be on 
our guard against comparing those of us 
who are still living with the blessed of 
the past. For no small error is made 
when one says, 2 for example, "He knows 
more than St. Augustine," or, "He is 
another St. Francis, or even more," or, 
"He is another St. Paul in goodness, ho- 
liness, and the like." 

365 l The Thirteenth. To keep ourselves 
right in all things, we ought to hold fast 
to this principle: What seems to me to 
be white, I will believe to be black if the 
hierarchical Church thus determines it. 
2 For we believe that between Christ our 
Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, 
his Spouse, there is the one same Spirit 
who governs and guides us for the salva- 
tion of our souls. 3 For it is by the same 
Spirit and Lord of ours who gave the 
ten commandments that our Holy 
Mother Church is guided and governed. 

366 l The Fourteenth. It is granted that 
there is much truth in the statement that 
no one can be saved without being pre- 
destined and without having faith and 
grace. Nevertheless, great caution is nec- 
essary in our manner of speaking and 
teaching about all these matters. 

367 x The Fifteenth. We ought not to fall 
into a habit of speaking much about 
predestination. But if somehow the topic 
is brought up on occasions, it should be 
treated in such a way that the ordinary 
people do not fall into an error, as 
sometimes happens when they say, 
2 "Whether I am to be saved or damned 



SSB®::::^^^^ ;:%#%* 

is already determined, and this cannot 
now be changed by my doing good or 
evil." 3 Through this they grow listless 
and neglect the works which lead to 
good and to the spiritual advancement 
of their souls. 

368 l The Sixteenth. In the same way we 
should take care that we do not, by 
speaking and insisting strongly about 
faith without any distinction or explana- 
tion, give the people an occasion to 
grow listless and lazy in their works— 
either before or after their faith is in- 
formed by charity. 

369 l The Seventeenth. Similarly, we 
ought not to speak so lengthily and em- 
phatically about grace that we generate a 
poison harmful to freedom of the will. 
2 Hence one may speak about faith and 
grace as much as possible, with God's 
help, for the greater praise of the Divine 
Majesty; 3 but not in such ways or man- 
ners, especially in times as dangerous as 

our own, that works and free will are 
impaired or thought worthless. 

370 l The Eighteenth. It is granted that we 
should value above everything else the 
great service which is given to God be- 
cause of pure love. Nevertheless, we 
should also strongly praise fear of the 
Divine Majesty. 2 For not only is filial 
fear something pious and very holy, but 
so also is servile fear. Even if it brings a 
person nothing better or more useful, it 
greatly aids him or her to rise from mor- 
tal sin; 3 and once such a one has risen, 
one easily attains to filial fear, which is 
wholly acceptable and pleasing to God 
our Lord, since it is inseparably united 
with love of him. 

(George E. Ganss, S.J., trans, with commen- 
tary, The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius: A 
Translation and Commentary [St. Louis: Insti- 
tute of Jesuit Sources, 1992]; reprinted with 
permission of the publisher) 

Guidelines for Thinking with the Church Today 

(From Draw Me into Your Friendship: The Spiritual Exercises, a Literal 
Translation and a Contemporary Reading, by David L. Fleming, S.J. 
Here follows Fr. Fleming's contemporary reading of the "Rules," as 
found on pp. 281-91 of Draw Me into Your Friendship. 

St. Ignatius of Loyola was convinced that the man or woman who makes the thirty-day 
Exercises would he taking on a more active and concerned role in the life of the Church. 
In the midst of the confusion and turmoil of the sixteenth-century Church of his day, he 
knew the difficulty of maintaining a mature balance, a clear-headed judgment, and a lov- 
ing reverence for both tradition and change. The guidelines which he proposed were meant 
to he internalized by the retreatant, just as the guidelines with regard to eating or the 
guidelines for the discernment of spirits. In this way, a person could come more easily to 
responsible judgment and action in everyday life. Even though Ignatius's statements were 
made in the light of events in the Church of his day, the attitudes and approaches which 
he includes in his reflections have a lasting value for our own growth as church members. 
The following statements are meant to be helpful in developing a true and loving sensitiv- 
ity to the ways of thinking, feeling, and acting as a Catholic in our present-day Church. 

353 1. When legitimate authority speaks within the Church, we should listen 



with receptive ears and be more prompt 
to respond favorably than to criticize in 
a condemnatory way. 

2. We should praise and reverence 
the sacramental life in the Church, espe- 
cially encouraging a more personal in- 
volvement and a more frequent partici- 
pation in the celebration of the Eucha- 
rist and of the sacrament of reconcilia- 

355 3. We should praise and reverence 
the prayer life in the Church, especially 
as it has been developed in the Eucharis- 
tic celebration and in the public morn- 
ing and evening praise service of the lit- 
urgy of the Hours. 

356 4. We should praise and esteem all 
vocations as God-given within the 
church— married life, the dedicated single 
life, the life of priests, and the religious 

357 5. We should praise the vowed reli- 
gious life of chastity, poverty, and obe- 
dience as a special sign of a call to wit- 
ness to God's reign whose value system 
stands in contrast to the value system of 
our world. 

358 6. We should have a loving rever- 
ence for all the men and women who 
have gone before us and make up the 
communion of saints, especially those 
whom the Church has identified as help- 
ers for us in our own struggling lives 
here and now. Our prayers for then- 
support and our various devotions are 
our living out of the mystery that we all 
form the one communion of saints and 
that there is a continuing concern of all 
the members for one another. 

359 7. We should respect the Christian 
call to penance and should respond free- 
ly to the abstinence and fasting of the 
prescribed days in the Church year. We 
should also continue our personal search 

for the ways of giving expression to the 
carrying of our cross daily in our fol- 
lowing of Jesus Christ. 

360 8. We should show respect for our 
places of worship and for the statues, 
paintings, and decorations which are an 
attempt to beautify them and help us in 
praising God. 

361 9. The laws and precepts within the 
church are meant to be of help for the 
institutional life of the Body of Christ. 
As a result, we should maintain a proper 
respect for such laws and respond with 
all our heart to them for the good order 
of the whole Body. 

362 10. We should be more ready to 
give our support and approval to our 
leaders, both in their personal conduct 
and in their directives, than to find fault 
with them. Only greater dissatisfaction 
and disunity among us is caused by pub- 
lic criticism and defamation of character. 
Rather the proper step in remedying a 
wrong, harmful, unjust, or scandalous 
situation would be to refer and make 
representation to the persons who can 
do something about the problem. 

363 11. We should praise and respect 
the work of the theologians in our 
Church, especially those who have given 
us the legacy of positive and Scholastic 
doctrine. Some men, such as St. Jerome, 
St. Augustine, and St. Gregory, have 
given us their theological reflections in a 
way that we are moved to a greater love 
and service of God. Today, too, some 
theologians write in this more pastoral 
or devotional way. Others, such as St. 
Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, and 
Peter Lombard (the "Master of the Sen- 
tences"), define and explain doctrine in 
order to clarify Christian mysteries 
through analogies and to expose error 
and fallacious thinking. Some theolo- 
gians today continue this process, and 




their writings are often more difficult 
and less appealing than the first group 
mentioned. But both kinds of theolo- 
gians are important for the reflective life 
of the Church. The modern theologians 
have this advantage: moved and enlight- 
ened by the grace of God, they have not 
only the legacy of the people before 
them and the rich development of Scrip- 
ture studies, but also very importantly 
the whole tradition of the official 
Church's teaching as summed up in 
Church councils, decrees, and constitu- 
tions up to the present time. 

364 12. We sometimes act as if we have 
discovered Christianity and true holiness 
for the first time in our own day. And 
so we have the tendency to exaggerate 
the contribution of a particular person 
in our contemporary Church or the ho- 
liness of life exemplified in certain prac- 
tices. We should avoid making compari- 
sons which attempt to exalt some of our 
own present-day leaders and practices at 
the expense of past peoples and tradi- 

365 13. We believe that Christ our lord 
has shared his Spirit with the Church in 
a lasting way. The Spirit, then, is pres- 
ent in all the members of the Church, 
and the same Spirit continues to influ- 
ence and guide in a special way the lead- 
ership in the Church for the good of all 
the members. Although there may be 
matters of faith or morals which we as 
individuals at times cannot see or grasp, 
we should explore whether the Church 
may have given some official direction 
about it in order to aid us in our Chris- 
tian living. When we take up the area of 
infallibility of dogmas defined by the 
Church, our attitude should be that we 
surrender our own private judgment. In 
general, we should be more open to ac- 
knowledge the limitations of our own 

individual opinion than to scorn the 
fight of the Spirit's action within the 
tradition and communal vision of a 
church which is described as truly catholic. 

366 14. It will always remain difficult to 
describe adequately the saving will of 
God. That God wants all people to be 
saved is revealed. That anyone of us has 
the freedom to reject God in a decisive 
way is also our belief. We should be 
careful in our thinking and speaking 
about this matter not to begin to deny 
either of these two essential statements 
of our Christian faith. 

367 15. Because we must work out our 
salvation through our whole lifetime by 
the grace of God, we must avoid the 
two following extremes. Being pessimis- 
tic to the point of despair, we could act 
as if we have no ability to act freely or 
to change and so we deny the God-given 
gift of our personal freedom as well as 
the power of God's grace, with which 
we need to cooperate. Or being pre- 
sumptuous, we could act as if we our- 
selves can change and grow and become 
holy solely through our own efforts, 
with God and grace being incidental to 
our salvation. 

368 16. From what has been said above, 
there is always the danger of so stressing 
the importance of faith in God and 
God's grace for our salvation that we 
ignore the necessity of our own daily 
effort in living lives of active love for 
our neighbor and for our world. 

369 17. Similarly, we can so stress the 
power of grace that we can be remiss in 
taking the human means to remedy phy- 
sical, psychological, and spiritual evils. We 
must not try to escape from the responsi- 
bility to use our freedom and to choose 
from all the various means for our growth 
and development which God has given us 
in our contemporary world. 



370 18. Today we have a great emphasis 
on the motivation of love being central 
to our Christian lives. Yet we can so 
overstress a language of love that we 
ignore the value of Christian fear— the 
fear of the lord which acknowledges 
God as God and the filial fear of offend- 
ing a Father who loves us. And so in 
the practical living of our Christian 
lives, we must acknowledge and make 

use of the various motivating factors 
which stimulate us towards growth and 
development in Christ. 

(David L. Fleming, S.J., trans, with commen- 
tary, Draw Me into Your Friendship: The Spiri- 
tual Exercises/ A Literal Translation and a 
Contemporary Reading [St. Louis: Institute of 
Jesuit Sources, 1996]; reprinted with permis- 
sion of the publisher) 

General Congregation 34 

Decree Eleven 
On Having a Proper Attitude of Service in the Church 


298 1. When General Congregation 33 
spoke of our "Life in the Church," 1 it 
committed the Society once again to 
"serving the Church in her teaching, life, 
and worship." 2 In his final address to the 
congregation of procurators, 3 Fr. Gen- 
eral Peter-Hans Kolvenbach reiterated 
this commitment. GC 34 reaffirms this 
long and permanent tradition of service 
proper to the Society, one to which we 
dedicate ourselves not only as religious 
but also, and especially, in virtue of the 
fourth vow of obedience to the pope in 
regard to missions. 

299 2. This service is exercised in myr- 
iad humble, sometimes hidden, ways by 
Jesuit priests and brothers missioned to 
the labors of parish and mission station, 

1 GC 33, D 1, nn. 6-8. 

2 Ihid,n.G. 

3 Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, Final 
Address to the Congregation of 
Procurators 67, 8 September 1987, nn. 8f., 
AR 19 (1987): pp. 1081-84. 

pulpit and confessional, workshop and 
printing press, classroom and laboratory. 

300 3. Equally humble and hidden is 
the service exercised by Jesuit theolo- 
gians, by consultors of the dicasteries of 
the Holy See, by consultants and re- 
source persons for episcopal conferences 
and individual diocesan bishops. Along 
with the more public service of schol- 
arly research, teaching, speaking, and 
writing, these are intellectual tasks that 
require freedom, openness, and courage 
in the objective service of truth. 

301 4. Our Jesuit service can also be the 
dangerous commitment of witness and 
struggle against the forces of injustice 
and persecution, both social and reli- 
gious, a witness that has been once again 
sealed by the blood of martyrs. In recent 
decades, as throughout our history, the 
heroism of our many brothers who have 
suffered and died for their fidelity to the 
Church bears clear and irrefutable wit- 
ness that the Society's foundational com- 
mitment is truly "to serve the Lord 
alone and the Church, his spouse, under 



the Roman Pontiff." 4 

Church and World: The New 

302 5. Jesuits today exercise this service 
in a world gripped by strong sociopoliti- 
cal and technological changes, often of a 
revolutionary character, fueled by the 
struggle for justice, modernization, and 
development. This dialectic of change 
produces multiple problems from which 
the Society cannot be immune. 

303 6. Since the Second Vatican Coun- 
cil, the Church has been engaged in its 
own dialectic of traditio et progressio. 
New strains and conflicts have arisen as 
it seeks to respond to the call for an 
evangelization that is ever old yet ever 
new. These tensions affect several aspects 
of the Church's life: liturgy, doctrine, 
ethics, discipline, pastoral ministry, and 
the inculturation of each of these. 

304 7. Vatican II was a prophetic event, 
producing a momentous renewal within 
Catholicism not witnessed since the 
Council of Trent. This dynamic ecclesial 
creativity reveals a People of God on 
pilgrimage, striving, under the guidance 
of the Holy Spirit, to live a recovered 
ecclesiology of collegial (or "synodal" 
for the Eastern churches) coresponsibili- 
ty. Those disoriented by the inevitable 
conflicts that result from such an invigo- 
rating new vision should recall that most 
major ecumenical councils have set in 
motion a very lengthy process of reform 
and renewal which did not reach a lived 
consensus for centuries. 

305 8. The ecclesiological renewal of 
Vatican II has helped us rediscover the 
Universal Church as a koinonia of local 
churches under the entire college of 

4 Formula [3]. 


bishops, of which the bishop of Rome is 
the head. This, in turn, has renewed our 
consciousness of the distinctive and in- 
alienable ecclesial role of the laity in the 
life of the Church. Can we be surprised 
that this deepened sense of the 
coresponsibility of all God's people for 
the whole life of the Church has led to 
more voices speaking, and that they are 
not all saying the same thing? This is a 
source of vitality — as well as of creative 

Challenges of the Times 

306 9. Attentive to this summons to 
work with the People of God in the 
spirit of Vatican II and GCs 32 and 33, 
and invited by the Pope to help in the 
implementation of the same council, the 
Society renews its fidelity to the teach- 
ing of the Church as it discerns and con- 
fronts the signs of the times. For among 
those signs are contemporary develop- 
ments that can pose intellectual, cultural, 
and pastoral challenges to that fidelity. 

307 10. Hunger, religious and racial per- 
secution, disordered economic and cul- 
tural development, the lack of political 
freedom and social justice; widespread 
socioeconomic discrimination, exploita- 
tion, and sexual abuse, especially of 
women and children; callous disregard 
for the precious gift of life; pastoral chal- 
lenges of secularity; social anonymity 
and the alienation of modern urbaniza- 
tion; the dissolution of the family: all 
these confront, often massively, the 
Church— and therefore ourselves— and 
demand our response. 

308 11. Even positive developments are 
not without their ambiguities: remark- 
able advances in the life sciences and the 
accompanying new problems of bioeth- 
ics, the need to nuance cherished theo- 
logical theories in the light of contempo- 



rary hermeneutics and historiography, 
the new culture created by the explosion 
of mass media, internal problems of li- 
turgical discipline and sacramental life 
provoked by modernization and incultu- 
ration. These are among the "new situa- 
tions being presented to the Society, 
demanding, in full fidelity to the Magis- 
terium of the Church, valid responses to 
so many healthy questions from the 
People of God" to which Father General 
alludes in his final address to the congre- 
gation of procurators. 5 This fidelity will 
adhere to the accepted norms of assent 
and to Catholic teaching on the hierar- 
chy of truths and the development of 
Church doctrine, as contained in the 
official documents of the Magisterium 
and in the common teaching of proven 
Catholic theologians. 6 

309 12. A Jesuit, especially the scholar 
or theologian engaged in research and 
the molding of informed public opinion, 
will see these challenges as occasions for 
service. His mission must ensure that the 
Christian tradition maintains its respect- 
ability as a coherent and valid 
worldview in dialogue with the realm of 
secular scholarship and science. Only 
through the exacting labor of the schol- 
arly enterprise, carried out with faith 
and in an atmosphere of freedom and 
mutual trust, can the Church remain an 
active force for good in the contempo- 
rary world of intellectual and cultural 
discourse. GC 34 expresses its deep ap- 

Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, op. cit., n. 
7,AR 19 (1987): p. 1081. 

Cf. Vatican Council II, Unitatis 
Redintegratio, n. 11; Congregation for the 
Doctrine of the Faith, Mysterium Ecclesue, 
24 June 1973, nn. 4f., CIC 750-54; CCEO 
598-600; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 
nn. 85ff. 

preciation to, solidarity with, and sup- 
port for the Jesuits engaged in this cru- 
cial service to the Church today. 

310 13. Such service requires courage 
and integrity; it can also involve pain. 
As Father General said, aware of "strong 
tensions within the Church from which 
the Society may not stand aloof, and 
through their very apostolic responsibil- 
ity, Jesuits are inevitably dragged into 
conflictual, even explosive ecclesiastical 
situations." 7 Our response to such situa- 
tions can give rise to tensions with some 
Church authorities. Despite— indeed, 
because of — our sincere desire to live in 
fidelity to the Magisterium and the hier- 
archy, there may be times when we feel 
justified, even obliged, to speak out in a 
way that may not always win us general 
approval and could even lead to sanc- 
tions painful to the Society and consti- 
tuting an impediment to our work. 

311 14. To do so does not put the Jesuit 
in a stance of disobedience or revolt. 
Ignatian obedience, in accord with the 
tradition of Catholic theology, has al- 
ways recognized that our first fidelity 
must be to God, to the truth, and to a 
well-formed conscience. Obedience, 
then, cannot exclude our prayerful dis- 
cernment of the course of action to be 
followed, one that may in some circum- 
stances differ from the one suggested by 
our religious and Church superiors. 
Such discernment, and its respectful rep- 
resentation to superiors, is an authentic 
element of our Ignatian tradition con- 
firmed in GC 31 8 and clarified in GC 
32. 9 

7 Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, op. cit., n. 
4, AR 19 (1987): p. 1079. 

8 GC 31, D 17, n. 10. 

9 GC32, D 11, n. 55. 




312 15. At the same time, Ignatian obe- 
dience is one of concrete fidelity to the 
real, visible, hierarchical Church, not to 
some abstract ideal. This Church is not 
something distinct from us: it is the 
community of believers to which we 
belong and whose virtues and defects, 
triumphs and tragedies, we share. Once 
the discernment is accomplished and the 
representations made, the Jesuit attitude 
will ultimately be one modeled on the 
"Rules in Order to Have the Proper At- 
titude of Mind in the Church Militant" 
of St. Ignatius. 10 

313 16. In saying this we are well aware 
that the context in which Ignatius wrote 
these rules is very different from that of 
today. But Ignatian service in the 
Church is not a history lesson. It is a 
profound mystical bond that transcends 
the particularities of its historical origins 
in the sixteenth-century Church. Rooted 
in faith that the Holy Spirit is guiding 
the Church, it drives us to seek the ma- 
gis, serenely confident that "to them that 
love God, all things work together unto 
good" (Rom. 8:28). 

314 17. Therefore, if there is a time for 
speaking out, there may also be a time 
for silence, chosen by discernment or 
even imposed by obedience. If there is a 
time for representation, there is also a 
time for the abnegation of our intellect 
and will, which becomes for us a new 
way of seeing through the clouds of suf- 
fering and uncertainty to a higher truth 
and wisdom, that of the Cross. 

The Jesuit Response: A Contempo- 
rary Perspective 

315 18. A contemporary Ignatian re- 
sponse to these problems is given in the 


SpEx [352-70]. 

address of Father General to the congre- 
gation of procurators to which we have 
already referred. 11 It is not meant to pro- 
vide an updated version of the "Rules in 
Order to Have the Proper Attitude of 
Mind in the Church Militant"; 12 still less 
does it pretend to give an exhaustive 
treatment of the theme or of its history 
and interpretation. 13 We find instead a 
profound reflection on the foundational 
inspiration that motivated the Society to 
integrate itself more fully into a living 
experience of the mystery of the 
Church, in the spirit of the fourth vow 
in regard to missions that so distinc- 
tively unites us with the Holy Father. 

316 19. This congregation makes its 
own the teaching of Father General's 
address and recommends it to the whole 
Society for attentive study in an atmo- 
sphere of prayer, examen, and individual 
and communal reflection and discern- 
ment. In accord with GC 33, Father 
General affirms that the Society must 
"seek to incorporate itself more and 
more vigorously and creatively into the 
life of the Church," 14 and "learn in the 
Church, with the Church, and for the 
Church how to five our faith as adults 
in the conditions, cultures, and lan- 
guages of this end of the century." 15 

317 20. If our love of Christ, insepara- 
ble from our love for his spouse the 
Church, impels us to seek the will of 
God in each situation, it can also oblige 

11 Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, op. cit. nn. 
%i.,AR (1987): pp. 1081-84. 

12 Ibid., n. 8; the updating was mandated 
by GC 33, D 1, n. 8. 

13 Ibid., n. 9. 

14 GC 33, D 1, n. 4. 

15 Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, op. cit. n. 17, 
AR 19 (1987): p. 1089. 



us to engage in constructive criticism 
based on a prayerful discernment. But it 
cannot justify a lack of solidarity with 
the Church, from which we are never in 
any way distinct or apart. In the elabo- 
ration and expression of our theological 
views and in our choice of pastoral op- 
tions, we must always actively seek to 
understand the mind of the hierarchical 
Church, having as our goal the end of 
the Society to help souls. At the same 
time, we must try to articulate the sensus 
fidelium and help the Magisterium dis- 
cern in it the movements of the Spirit in 
accord with the teaching of Vatican II. 16 
Formed by the experience of the Spiri- 
tual Exercises and desirous of being 
faithful to this Ignatian vision, we pray 
God to instill in us the spirit that ani- 
mates these Ignatian rules. 

318 21. Even when it is not possible to 
refrain from all critical observations in 
the objective evaluation of certain situa- 
tions in the life of the Church, or even 
of the comportment of persons holding 
responsible positions in its service, we 
will always seek to do so in this spirit. 
As men of integrity, we must of course 
be true to our consciences. But we will 
speak (or keep silent) in prudence and 
humility, and with a sense of genuine re- 
spect and affection for the pastors of the 
Church, both local and universal. 17 We 
will strive for the honesty to gratefully 
acknowledge the grace of their guidance 
as a needed corrective to whatever may 
be tainted by narrowness or the limita- 
tions of what is personal and subjective. 
We will be aware that as members of 
the Society we are bound to them in a 
special way, and that our prime concern 

Cf. Vatican Council II, Lumen 
Gentium, nn. 12, 35. 

17 Cf. SpEx [353], 

is to cooperate with them in building up 
and, where necessary, healing both the 
universal and local churches. 

319 22. We will be conscious, too, that 
the Church cannot be explained in pure- 
ly sociopolitical terms, but is animated 
by a transcendent Spirit that guides and 
authenticates the Christian community 
through the collegial action of the Pope 
and bishops, 18 and is affirmed by the 
sensus fidelium} 9 

The Jesuit Response: Concrete Mo- 

320 23. We will recognize that, particu- 
larly in sensitive doctrinal and moral 
questions, it is often difficult for magiste- 
rial statements to explicitate exhaustively 
all aspects of an issue. Rather than in- 
dulging in selective and superficial criti- 
cism, we will look for the central mes- 
sage and, through discerning theological 
reflection, attempt to understand it in 
depth and explain it positively, respect- 
fully, and clearly. 

321 24. We will keep difficulties in per- 
spective and not isolate them from then- 
context. We will not underestimate the 
possibility of giving scandal, nor forget 
that between the extremes of premature, 
ill-considered public criticism and servile 
silence there exists the alternative of 
moderate and respectful expression of 
our views. 20 We will avoid particular 
interests and bear in mind the greater 
good of the whole Church. When possi- 
ble, we will seek recourse through offi- 

18 Cf. SpEx [365]. 

19 Cf. Vatican Council II, Lumen 
Gentium, nn. 12, 35. 

20 Cf. John Paul II, Allocution to 
General Congregation 34, 5 January 1995, 
n. 6; cf. Appendix I. 



cial channels; 21 we will remain in active 
dialogue and discernment with our own 
superiors in the Society, and conduct 
consultation and dialogue with other 
competent Church authorities in a spirit 
of mutual respect and understanding. To 
this end, wherever possible we will 
show ourselves ready to foster informal 
personal contacts of cordial friendliness 
with the local bishops in areas where we 
exercise our mission, and seek to contain 
and defuse possible sources of conflict 
before they develop. 

322 25. If the Church appears to be at- 
tacked or defamed in the media, we can- 
not limit ourselves to a dismissive con- 
demnation of such abuses. We must en- 
ter the world of communication and 
defend the truth, while at the same time 
honestly acknowledging conflicts and 
polarities within the Church. Though 
we will do so without sharpening ten- 
sions or weakening authority, we cannot 
avoid issues which, as news, the media 
will present in any event. 

323 26. We must cooperate with the 
media so that the Church's true face can 
appear and the Gospel be inculturated in 
this new mass culture as well. We will 
strive to see that issues conducive to 
good receive effective media attention. 
Though we remain always loyal to the 
truth, our Ignatian sense of sentire cum 
Ecclesia will lead us to present what is 
praiseworthy in the Church, revealing 
the bonds of affection that make us love 
the Church and cleave to it as a source 
of life, solace, and healing, as an internal 
authority for genuine religious experi- 
ence, as a nurturing matrix of our deep- 
est values. 22 

21 Cf. SpEx [362]. 

22 Cf. SpEx [353-63]. 

Conclusion: Fidelity to Our Jesuit 
Charism to Serve 

324 27. If in today's world the Society 
is to be engaged "in the most difficult 
and extreme fields, in the crossroads of 
ideologies, in the front line of social 
conflict," as the Holy Father said in his 
address at the beginning of this congre- 
gation, 23 repeating the words of Pope 
Paul VI at the opening of GC 32, 24 we 
are there as "men whom Christ himself 
sends into the world to spread his holy 
doctrine among people of every state and 
condition." 25 

325 28. In that same spirit, on this eve 
of the third millennium we pledge our- 
selves once again to generous service of 
all our brothers and sisters. This service 
will be Christian only if anchored by 
fidelity to him who makes all things 
new. It will be Jesuit only if it is in un- 
ion with the successor of Peter. For this 
union has always given us the assur- 
ance—indeed, it is the visible sign— "of 
our communion with Christ, the first 
and supreme head of the Society which 
by its very name is his: the Society of 


{Documents of the Thirty-Fourth General 
Congregation of the Society of Jesus [St. 
Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1995]; 
reprinted with permission of the publisher) 

23 John Paul II, Allocution to General 
Congregation 34, 5 January 1995, n. 8; cf. 
Appendix I. 

24 Paul VI, Allocution to General 
Congregation 32, 3 December 1974, n. 2; 
cf. Documents of General Congregation 
32, Appendix. 

25 Ibid; cf. SpEx [145]. 

26 Ibid. 


Antonio M. de Aldama, S.J. 

The Constitutions of the Society of 

Jesus: Part VIII, Union among Jesuits 

Tr. Ignacio Echaniz, S.J. 

This volume of Fr. Aldama's series of 
commentaries is closely connected to 
the one immediately preceding it, that 
on missioning. For the very fact that 
Jesuits' vocation calls on them to be 
dispersed far and wide on missions 
makes their union into one apostolic 
body all the more necessary, and at the 
same time all the more difficult. In his 
usual magistenal way, Fr. Aldama shows 
how Pan Eight of the Constitutions 
addresses this issue with typical 
Ignatian thoroughness and realism, 
treating as it does of the spintual bond 
of love among Jesuits, the institutional 
structures (such as the general congre- 
gation) supporting that bond, a strong 
central authority, subordination and 
personal initiative, adaptability to local 
situations, the fewest possible time- 
consuming official meetings, a constant 
flow of information back and forth, and 
other means of union. 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-32-8 • $18.95 
Series II, no. 15 • pp. xv + 169 

Antonio M. de Aldama, S.J. 

The Constitutions of the Society of 

Jesus: Part IX, The Superior General 

Tr Ramon Delius, S.J ./Ignacio Echaniz, S.J. 

The sixth book in the series of Fr. de 
Aldama's great exegetical commentaries 
on the Jesuit Constitutions that the 
Institute of Jesuit Sources has pub- 
lished, The Superior General deals with 
the unique style of government that 
Saint Ignatius legislated for the Society 
of Jesus. It treats of the lifelong term of 
office of the superior general, the son of 
person that the superior general should 
be (a man united with God, a man of 
virtue, of learning, of prudence). It goes 
on to speak of the general's authority 
over the Society and its functions: his 
complete authority over colleges, mem- 
bers of the Society at various stages of 
formation, the functioning of the 
Society in its long-range goals and in its 
day-to-day life. The book also discuss- 
es the Society's provident care over the 
general and the manner of exercising 
that care, and concludes with a discus- 
sion of aids to the superior general for 
the good performance of his office. 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-35-2 • $18.95 
Series II, n. 16 • (available July 1999) 

tel 314-977-7257 fax 314-977-7263 e-mail IJS@SLU.EDU 

Past Issues: Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits 

(For prices, see inside back cover.) 

1/1 Sheets, Profile of the Contemporary Jesuit (Sept. 1969) 

1/2 Ganss, Authentic Spiritual Exercises: History and Terminology (Nov. 1969) 

2/1 Burke, Institution and Person (Feb. 1970) 

2/2 Futrell, Ignatian Discernment (Apr. 1970) 

2/3 Lonergan, Response of the Jesuit as Priest and Apostle (Sept. 1970) 

3/1 Wright, Grace of Our Founder and the Grace of Our Vocation (Feb. 1971) 

3/2 O'Flaherty, Some Reflections on Jesuit Commitment (Apr. 1971) 

3/4 Toner, A Method for Communal Discernment of God s Will (Sept. 1971) 

3/5 Sheets, Toward a Theology of the Religious Life (Nov. 1971) 

4/2 Two Discussions: I. Spiritual Direction, II. Leadership and Authority (Mar. 1972) 

4/3 Orsy, Some Questions about the Purpose and Scope of the General Congregation (June 1972) 

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5/1-2 O'Flaherty, Renewal: Call and Response (Jan.-Mar. 1973) 

5/3 Arrupe, McNaspy, The Place of Art in Jesuit Life (Apr. 1973) 

5/4 Haughey, The Pentecostal Thing and Jesuits (June 1973) 

5/5 Orsy, Toward a Theological Evaluation of Communal Discernment (Oct. 1973) 

6/3 Knight, Joy and Judgment in Religious Obedience (Apr. 1974) 

7/1 Wright, Ganss, Orsy, On Thinking with the Church Today (Jan. 1975) 

7/2 Ganss, Christian Life Communities from the Sodalities (Mar. 1975) 

7/3 Connolly, Contemporary Spiritual Direction: Scope and Principles (June 1975) 

7/5 Buckley, The Confirmation of a Promise; Padberg, Continuity and Change in General 

Congregation XXXII (Nov. 1975) 

8/1 O'Neill, Acatamiento: Ignatian Reverence (Jan. 1976) 

8/2-3 De la Costa, Sheridan, and others, On Becoming Poor: A Symposium on Evangelical Poverty 
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8/4 Faricy, Jesuit Community: Community of Prayer (Oct. 1976) 

9/1-2 Becker, Changes in U.S. Jesuit Membership, 1958-75; Others, Reactions and Explanations 
(Jan.-Mar. 1977) 

9/4 Connolly, Land, Jesuit Spiritualities and the Struggle for Social Justice (Sept. 1977). 

9/5 Gill, A Jesuits Account of Conscience (Nov. 1977) 

10/1 Kammer, "Burn-Out"— Dilemma for the Jesuit Social Activist (Jan. 1978) 

10/4 Harvanek, Status of Obedience in the Society of Jesus; Others, Reactions to Connolly-Land 

(Sept. 1978) 

11/1 Clancy, Feeling Bad about Feeling Good (Jan. 1979) 

11/2 Maruca, Our Personal Witness as Power to Evangelize Culture (Mar. 1979) 

11/3 Klein, American Jesuits and the Liturgy (May 1979) 

11/5 Conwell, The Kamikaze Factor: Choosing Jesuit Ministries (Nov. 1979) 

12/2 Henriot, Appleyard, Klein, Living Together in Mission: A Symposium on Small Apostolic 

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12/3 Conwell, Living and Laying in the Society of Jesus (May 1980) 

12/4-5 Schineller, Newer Approaches to Christology and Their Use in the Spiritual Exercises (Sept. -Nov. 

13/1 Peter, Alcoholism in Jesuit Life (Jan. 1981) 

13/3 Ganss, Towards Understanding the Jesuit Brothers' Vocation (May 1981) 

13/4 Reites, St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Jews (Sept. 1981) 

14/1 O'Malley, The Jesuits, St. Ignatius, and the Counter Reformation (Jan. 1982) 

14/2 Dulles, St. Ignatius and Jesuit Theological Tradition (Mar. 1982) 

14/4 Gray, An Experience in Ignatian Government (Sept. 1982) 

14/5 Ivern, The Future of Faith and Justice: Review of Decree Four (Nov. 1982) 

15/1 O'Malley, The Fourth Vow in Its Ignatian Context (Jan. 1983) 

15/2 Sullivan and Faricy, On Making the Spiritual Exercises for Renewal of Jesuit Charisms (Mar. 


15/3-4 Padberg, The Society True to Itself: A Brief History of the 32nd General Congregation of the 

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15/5-16/1 Tetlow, Jesuits' Mission in Higher Education (Nov. 1983-Jan. 1984) 

16/2 O'Malley, To Travel to Any Part of the World: Jeronimo Nodal and the Jesuit Vocation (Mar. 


16/3 O'Hanlon, Integration of Christian Practices: A Western Christian Looks East (May 1984) 

16/4 Carlson, "A Faith Lived Out of Doors": Ongoing Formation (Sept. 1984) 

16/5 Kinerk, Eliciting Great Desires: Their Place in the Spirituality of the Society of Jesus (Nov. 1984) 

17/1 Spohn, St. Paul on Apostolic Celibacy and the Body of Christ (Jan. 1985) 

17/2 Daley, "In Ten Thousand Places": Christian Universality and the Jesuit Mission (Mar. 1985) 

17/3 Tetlow, Dialogue on the Sexual Maturing of Celibates (May 1985) 

17/4 Spohn, Coleman, Clarke, Henriot, Jesuits and Peacemaking (Sept. 1985) 

17/5 Kinerk, When Jesuits Pray: A Perspective on the Flayer of Apostolic Persons (Nov. 1985) 

18/1 Gelpi, The Converting Jesuit (Jan. 1986). 

18/2 Beirne, Compass and Catalyst: The Ministry of Administration. (Mar. 1986) 

18/3 McCormick, Bishops as Teachers and Jesuits as Listeners (May 1986) 

18/5 Tetlow, The Transformation of Jesuit Poverty (Nov. 1986). 

19/1 Staudenmaier, United States Technology and Adult Commitment (Jan. 1987) 

19/2 Appleyard, Languages We Use: Talking about Religious Experience (Mar. 1987) 

19/5 Endean, Who Do You Say Ignatius Is? Jesuit Fundamentalism and Beyond (Nov. 1987) 

20/1 Brackley, Downward Mobility: Social Implications of St. Ignatius's Two Standards (Jan. 1988) 

20/2 Padberg, How We Live Where We Live (Mar. 1988) 

20/3 Hayes, Padberg, Staudenmaier, Symbols, Devotions, and Jesuits (May 1988) 

20/4 McGovern, Jesuit Education and Jesuit Spirituality (Sept. 1988) 

20/5 Barry, Jesuit Formation Today: An Invitation to Dialogue and Involvement (Nov. 1988) 

21/1 Wilson, Where Do We Belong? United States Jesuits and Their Memberships (Jan. 1989) 

21/2 Demoustier, Calvez, et al., The Disturbing Subject: The Option for the Poor (Mar. 1989) 

21/3 Soukup, Jesuit Response to the Communication Revolution (May 1989) 

22/1 Carroll, The Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (Jan. 1990) 

22/2 Bracken, Jesuit Spirituality from a Process Prospective (March 1990) 

22/3 Shepherd, Fire for a Weekend: An Experience of the Exercises (May 1990) 

22/4 O'Sulhvan, Trust Your Feelings, but Use Your Head (Sept. 1990) 

22/5 Coleman, A Company of Critics: Jesuits and the Intellectual Life (Nov. 1990) 

23/1 Houdek, The Road Too Often Traveled (Jan. 1991) 

23/2 DiGiacomo, Ministering to the Young (March 1991) 

23/3 Begheyn and Bogart, A Bibliography on St. Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises (May 1991) 

23/4 Shelton, Reflections on the Mental Health of Jesuits (Sept. 1991) 

23/5 Toolan, "Nature Is a Heraclitean Fire" (Nov. 1991) 

24/1 Houdek, Jesuit Prayer and Jesuit Ministry: Context and Possibilities (Jan. 1992) 

24/2 Smolich, Testing the Water: Jesuits Accompanying the Poor (March 1992) 

24/3 Hassel, Jesus Christ Changing Yesterday, Today, and Forever (May 1992) 

24/4 Shelton, Toward Healthy Jesuit Community Living (Sept. 1992) 

24/5 Cook, Jesus' Parables and the Faith That Does Justice (Nov. 1992) 

25/2 Donahue, What Does the Lord Require? (March 1993)— ONCE AGAIN AVAILABLE 

25/3 Padberg, Ignatius, the Popes, and Realistic Reverence (May 1993) 

25/4 Stahel, Toward General Congregation 34 (Sept. 1993) 

25/5 Baldovin, Christian Liturgy: An Annotated Bibliography (Nov. 1993) 

26/1 Tetlow, The Most Postmodern Prayer (Jan. 1994) 

26/2 Murphy, The Many Ways of Justice (March 1994) 

26/3 Staudenmaier, To Fall in Love with the World (May 1994) 

26/4 Foley, Stepping into the River (Sept. 1994) 

26/5 Landy, Myths That Shape Us (Nov. 1994) 

27/1 Daley, "To Be More like Christ" (Jan. 1995) 

27/2 Schmidt, Portraits and Landscapes (March 1995) 

27/3 Stockhausen, I'd Love to, but I Don't Have the Time (May 1995) 

27/4 Anderson, Jesuits in Jail, Ignatius to the Present (Sept. 1995) 

27/5 Shelton, Friendship in Jesuit Life (Nov. 1995) 

28/1 Begheyn, Bibliography on the History of the Jesuits (Jan. 1996) 

28/2 Veale, Saint Ignatius Speaks about "Ignatian Prayer" (March 1996) 

28/3 Clooney, In Ten Thousand Places, in Every Blade of Grass (May 1996) 

28/4 Starkloff, "As Different As Night and Day" (Sept. 1996) 

28/5 Beckett, Listening to Our History (Nov. 1996) 

29/1 Hamm, Preaching Biblical Justice (Jan. 1997) 

29/2 Padberg, The Three Forgotten Founders (March 1997) 

29/3 Byrne, Jesuits and Parish Ministry (May 1997) 

29/4 Keenan, Are Informationes Ethical? (Sept. 1997) 

29/5 Ferlita, The Road to Bethlehem-Is It Level or Winding? (Nov. 1997) 

30/1 Shore, The Vita Christi of Ludolph of Saxony and Its Influence on the Spiritual Exercises of 

Ignatius of Loyola (Jan. 1998) 

30/2 Starkloff, "I'm No Theologian, but . . . (or So . . . )?" (March 1998) 

30/3 Torrens, The Word That Clamors (May 1998) 

30/4 Petrik, "Being Sent" (Sept. 1998) 

30/5 Jackson, "One and the Same Vocation" (Sept. 1998) 

31/1 Clifford, Scripture and the Exercises (Jan. 1999) 

31/2 Toohig, Physics Research, a Search for God (March 1999) 

31/3 Fagin, Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now (May 1999) 

Antonio M. de Aldama, SJ. 

An Introductory 

Commentary on the 


An historical, documentary, interpretative, 

and spiritual understanding of the Jesuit 


Cloth: ISBN 0-912422-92-0 ♦ $22.95 

Paper: ISBN 0-912422-93-9 ♦ $16.95 

Antonio M. de Aldama, SJ. 
Jesuit Religious Life 

Part Six of the Jesuit Constitutions, on the 
distinctive character of Jesuit religious life. 
Paper: ISBN 1-880810-13-1 ♦ $14.95 

Pedro Arrupe, SJ. 
In Him Alone Is Our Hope 

The chief texts on the Heart of Christ that 
Fr. Arrupe wrote during his generalate. 
Paper: ISBN 0-912422-87-4 ♦ $6.00 

Jean-Yves Calvez, SJ. 
Faith and Justice 

The social dimension of evangelization, 
and an examination of Jesuit Congregation 
32's decree on faith and justice. 
Paper: ISBN 0-912422-49-1 ♦ $17.95 

Thomas H. Clancy, SJ. 
The Conversational 
Word of God 

A commentary on St. Ignatius's doctrine 
concerning spiritual conversation, using 
four early Jesuit texts. 
Cloth: ISBN 0-912422-33-5 ♦ $5.00 
Paper: ISBN 0-912422-34-3 ♦ $2.50 

Antonio M. de Aldama, SJ. 
The Formula of the Institute 

The sources, development, and meaning of 
this foundational Jesuit document. 

Cloth: ISBN 0-912422-55-6 ♦ $16.95 
Paper: ISBN 0-912422-56-4 ♦ $9.95 

Pedro Arrupe, SJ. 
One Jesuit's Spiritual Journey 

Autobiographical details of the late Jesuit 
general's life and work both before and 
during his generalate. 

Cloth: ISBN 0-912422-69-6 ♦ $10.00 
Paper: ISBN 0-912422-68-8 ♦ $8.00 

William V. Bangert, SJ. 

A History of the 

Society of Jesus 

The most comprehensive and up-to-date 
single-volume history of the Society of 
Jesus that is available today. 

Cloth: ISBN 0-912422-73-4 ♦ $21.00 

Philip Caraman, SJ. 

A Study in Friendship: 

Saint Robert Southwell 

and Henry Garnet 

The friendship that existed between 
English Jesuits Southwell and Garnet from 
1586 to Southwell's martyrdom, as this 
appears in their correspondence. 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-15-8 ♦ $14.95 

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The Spiritual Writings of Pierre Favre 
The Memoriale and Selected Letters and Instructions 

This is a long-awaited first full English translation from 
the definitive critical edition of Favre's works in the 
Monumenta Historica Societatis Jesu. 

A spiritual autobiography is a record of God's dealings 
with an individual and the person's response to God. Pierre 
Favre's Memoriale is fully in that tradition. 

Favre, the person whom Ignatius of Loyola thought the 
best director of the Spiritual Exercises, left as a legacy both a 
spiritual autobiography/diary traditionally called the Memoriale 
and a series of letters and instructions. 

The twenty-seven selected letters and instructions range 
across time, space and recipients, in time from 1540 to 1546, in 
space from almost one end of Western Europe to the other. 
The recipients include, among many others, Ignatius Loyola in 
Rome and Francis Xavier in India, King John III of Portugal 
and a confraternity of laypersons, and a Carthusian prior in 
Cologne and a group setting out on a pilgrimage. 

The introduction places Favre's life and work in its 
historical setting, discusses the characteristics of spiritual 
autobiography, deals with the discernment of spirits in Favre's 
work, describes the several versions of the text of the 
Memoriale, puts in context the letters and instructions included 
in this volume, and tells what happened to the memory of and 
devotion to Favre after his death. 

xvi + 437 pp. Glossary, Indexes 
Hardcover: ISBN 1-880810-25-5 / $57.95 plus postage 
Paperback: ISBN 1-880810-26-3 / $39.95 plus postage 

The Institute of Jesuit Sources 
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